Prelim set for suspect believed connected to double-murder

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled next week for a St. Joseph man accused of firing several shots into a vehicle and house in Midtown St Joe last week. Authorities have said the drive-by was related to a double homicide on Safari drive just minutes before.

Luia A Quinones-Rosa is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a class-d felony. Police say the suspect fired shots into a parked Chevrolet Suburban in the 2700 block of Delaware at about 10:30 p.m. July 17.

That was just minutes after officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of Safari Drive, where they found two people fatally shot. The victims were later identified as Kevin Villegas Melendez, 22, and Raymond Gonzalez Ortiz, 25.

In court documents, police say they arrested Quinones-Rosa after a traffic stop in the 3600 block of St. Joseph Ave. and recovered a handgun in the suspect’s car.

Five people have been charged with the killings. Omar Martinez-Velez, 34, Luis Omar Robles-Vargas, 31, Alexi Martinez-Andino, 19, Luz A. Figueroa-Castillo, 29, and Raymond Jimenez Bencebi, Jr., 26 were each charged with a felony for second-degree murder.

During a first appearance Tuesday morning, Judge Rebecca Spencer scheduled a preliminary hearing August 4 for Quinones-Rosa, who remains behind bars. Bail was set earlier at $25,000 cash.