THE CENTER – Kimberly Vega and Athan Emmanuel Estrada – the suspects believed to be linked to the fatal 2021 shooting of El Centro resident Pablo Dominguez – were present at the Imperial County Upper Courthouse in El Centro for a preliminary examination on charges of violation of PC 187 (murder) Thursday, March 17.

The alleged suspects were present with a lawyer and in custody.

After two witnesses testified, people reserved themselves on the argument, the defense attorney presented the argument, and the case was submitted.

According to the court, there were sufficient grounds to believe that the offenses had been committed.

The Honorable Judge Poli Flores found that a criminal violation of PC 187(a) had been committed and that there were sufficient grounds to believe that the defendants were guilty of it.

The defendants were ordered to appear in Imperial County El Centro Superior Court for arraignment information on Wednesday, March 30.

Bail remained at $1 million for each defendant.

According to Detective Antonio Hernandez of the El Centro Police Department, Pablo Dominguez was found dead on June 7, 2021 at a local motel in El Centro.

“When Pablo was killed, I started looking at (Kimberly Vega) as a potential suspect,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he identified Athan Estrada — who is also the person who was accidentally released from Imperial County Jail and later re-apprehended — as another potential suspect. Estrada implicated Vega as being involved in the shooting. Hernandez said the suspect told him that Vega wanted to “shut up her ex-boyfriend, Pablo.”

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