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Dead man ordered to appear in court on murder charges

August 08, 2013|By Emily Foxhall

Though he was found dead in his jail cell late Wednesday, authorities said they won't drop murder charges against an 18-year-old Fontana man until they see a death certificate.

So Richard Gonzalez, one of four people charged in the slaying of a Fontana man, is technically under orders to appear in court Aug. 22.

Gonzalez died at 6:50 p.m. Wednesday at the West Valley Detention Center, said Deputy Coroner Andrew Avery. The circumstances of his death remain under investigation.

KTLA reported earlier Thursday that Gonzales had committed suicide.

Gonzalez and Edward Morales, also 18, were charged Thursday morning with multiple counts related to the death of Alejandro Padilla, 40.

But in order to remove the now-deceased Gonzalez from the DA's complaint, his death certificate must be presented in court, said spokesman Chris Lee.

Authorities found the body of Alejandro Padilla, 40, on July 26. Morales allegedly dated Padilla's daughter and Gonzales was identified as one of Morales' friends.

Two other people have been charged as accessories.

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Twitter: @emfoxhall

emily.foxhall@latimes.com

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