A criminal complaint was filed Monday afternoon in Yuma Justice Court against the man suspected of lying to investigators and for attempting to dispose of potential evidence linked to the murder of 29-year-old Christal Figueroa.
Jeffery Miller, 36, of Yuma, was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart, who informed him that he was being charged with two felony offenses: tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
Miller was taken into custody at about 1 p.m. by Yuma police in the 1300 block of East 26th Street. The evidence Miller is now accused of trying to dispose of is believed to belong to Jose “Rascal” Jimenez and has been linked to the murder. Yuma police didn't not provide any further details about the evidence.
In addition to setting Miller's preliminary hearing for 4 p.m. April 18, Stewart ordered his bond remain at the $185,000, the amount he had set it at during a previous hearing. He also appointed a public defender to represent Miller.
Also, Jorge Rios, 20, who had been wanted for questioning, made his initial appearance in Somerton Justice Court on Sunday on charges unrelated to the murder. He is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond and will return to court today for his arraignment.
Rios was arrested Saturday by San Luis police officers after a vehicle pursuit and turned over to the Yuma Police Department. Yuma police then questioned Rios for several hours in connection with the Figueroa murder investigation and released him back to the custody of San Luis police.
San Luis police booked him into the Yuma County jail on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful flight, reckless driving, endangerment, trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Four others already in custody are facing charges for their alleged roles before and after the murder.
Jimenez, who has been identified as Figueroa's ex-boyfriend, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder per domestic violence, one count of criminal damage and one misdemeanor count of striking an unattended vehicle. He also was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of unlawful flight from law enforcement in a separate cases.
Brothers Jose and Daniel Torrez, who allegedly hid Jimenez in their home, were each charged with one count of hindering prosecution.
Brandi Michalski, who was arrested after allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run incident involving a black Escalade that was later linked to the murder, has been charged with hindering prosecution and one felony count of tampering with physical evidence.
YPD encourages anyone with any information about this case to call Sgt. Ron Rodriguez, 373-4678, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.