Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering Woman in Presence of Their Two Children

POMONA (CNS) - A man accused of killing a woman in the presence of their two children during a struggle over a handgun amid a domestic dispute pleaded not guilty today to murder and other charges.

Joseph Pinedo, 30, of Pomona, is charged in the April 10 killing of 29-year-old Samantha Lancaster. He is also facing two counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death.

Pinedo, who is also known as Joseph Delgado-Pinedo, was ordered to return to a Pomona courtroom on May 24 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. He remains in custody in lieu of $3.2 million bail.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Douglas Sortino issued a protective order barring the defendant from any contact with the children, listed in court documents as Joseph P. and Jupiter P.

The defendant's attorney objected, saying the shooting began as a potential suicide -- he did not elaborate -- and that Pinedo had never made any threats against the children or committed any violence against them.

Sortino said the fact of the loaded gun in the presence of the children was enough to justify the order.

Lancaster was shot about 10 a.m. April 10 in the 800 block of West Orange Grove Avenue. She was treated by paramedics, but could not be saved.

A statement released then by the Pomona Police Department said the “investigation revealed that the incident started as a domestic dispute between the victim and suspect. It is alleged that during the dispute the suspect obtained a handgun. A struggle ensued over the handgun and the victim was shot. This incident occurred in the presence of their two children.''

Pinedo was arrested just after 5 p.m. that day by Pomona police and is being held in Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

Photo: Getty Images

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