Man Who Fatally Shot 2 Teens in California Movie Theater Is Sentenced to Life Without Parole

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
February 27, 2024California
Man Who Fatally Shot 2 Teens in California Movie Theater Is Sentenced to Life Without Parole
Defendant Joseph Jimenez appears in court during a plea hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice in Riverside, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2021. (Watchara Phomicinda/Pool/The Orange County Register via AP)

A man convicted of fatally shooting two teenagers at a Southern California movie theater during a 2021 showing of “The Forever Purge” was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Joseph Jimenez Jr., 23, was found guilty in December of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as a sentencing enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing death.

Prosecutors said he shot Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, in the back of the head as they watched a late-night showing of the horror-action film at a theater in Corona, southeast of Los Angeles, on July 26, 2021. They were the only other people in the theater.

Goodrich died at the scene. Barajas, a budding social media star, died at a hospital.

Mr. Jimenez initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was ruled sane in December by Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Hollenhorst.

In a jailhouse interview with the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Mr. Jimenez said that he had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia but that shortly before the shooting he had stopped taking his medication because he ran out of pills.

Mr. Jimenez told the newspaper that the only way he could save himself from the victims was to shoot them.

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