Hearing for accused killer of Patricia Alatorre pushed back to October

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It will be at least a few months until the man arrested in the rape and killing of 13-year-old Patricia Alatorre has a hearing to determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to go to trial.

Attorneys for Armando Cruz said in court Tuesday there have been additional motions for discovery and more time is needed before the preliminary hearing proceeds. It had been scheduled for Thursday.

Judge Eric Bradshaw set a status conference for Oct. 22. A new hearing date may be set at that time.

Cruz, 25, has been held without bail since his arrest in July of last year. He’s charged with murder, kidnapping, rape and charges related to sexual assault of a minor.

Alatorre was reported as a runaway July 2. But a neighbor’s Ring doorbell camera captured Alatorre entering a white pickup, and she was declared a missing person.

Conversations on her Instagram account showed a man offered to pay her for sex acts and threatened to leak inappropriate photos of her online, court filings say.

The man was identified as Cruz and Los Angeles police located him at a studio apartment in Inglewood, the documents said. A white pickup registered in Cruz’s name and matching the description of the suspect vehicle was parked nearby.

Cruz told police he communicated with Alatorre through the app and twice met her in Bakersfield. He described in detail how he killed her when she resisted him the second time, and how he disposed of her body, the documents said.

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