MERCED - Jury questionnaires were handed out Tuesday, a week ahead of a
trial for two defendants charged with murder in connection with the stabbing
death of an Atwater man in 2012.
Miguel Rivera, 30, and Cindy Maciel, 24, have pleaded not guilty to murder
charges in the Oct. 26, 2012, stabbing death of 23-year-old Ryan Williams
during a large brawl at an Atwater bar on Sycamore Avenue.
Jury selection in the long-awaited trial begins May 5 before Judge David
Moranda in Merced Superior Court, the Merced County District Attorney’s
Prosecutors said Rivera, a suspected gang member, stabbed Williams after
accusing him of being involved in a rival street gang. Police have said
Williams was not involved in gangs.
“Mr. Rivera continues to maintain his innocence and is looking forward
to his day in court,” said
Jeffrey Tenenbaum, Rivera’s attorney.
Prosecutors have accused Maciel of trying to help Rivera hide the alleged
murder weapon, which was found the following morning. Police said the
victim’s DNA was found on the knife they recovered.
Maciel’s attorney, David Capron, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Both defendants remain in custody in Merced County.