JOSHUA TREE — Roger Tindell, a 36-year-old Morongo Basin resident, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 30, on eight counts of attempted murder.
Tindell is accused of shooting 43-year-old Jonathan Lakes in Yucca Valley earlier this month.
Investigators allege he fired on eight sheriff’s deputies during a gun battle after the shooting.
Tindell is also a suspect in a double homicide out of Henderson, Nevada, and was wanted by an FBI task force at the time of the shooting, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Tindell appeared in Judge Rodney Cortez’s courtroom in Joshua Tree Tuesday afternoon for his arraignment hearing. Eleven other inmates were being arraigned at the same time, but Tindell was only brought into the courtroom after the others had finished. Bailiffs at the courthouse said this was to stop Tindell from causing a disturbance among the other inmates.
Cortez asked the defendant to confirm his name.
“They call me junior,” Tindell replied.
Cortez entered not guilty pleas on all charges on Tindell’s behalf and appointed a public defender. He was ordered to appear back in court on Nov. 7 for his pre-preliminary hearing and on Nov. 8 for his preliminary hearing.
“That’s my birthday,” Tindell told Cortez. “You gonna have a cake for me?”
Tindell continued to make kissing faces and wink at the people seated in the courtroom before he was escorted out of the room by a bailiff.
His bail is set at $7 million.
Chase and gun battle followed shooting
Tindell is accused of shooting Lakes just before 2:14 a.m. Oct. 17 at a home on Elk Trail in Yucca Valley. Lakes was transported to Desert Regional Hospital following the shooting and has been in serious but stable condition.
Investigators say after the shooting, Tindell left the house and deputies attempted to stop his vehicle. A chase ensued through Yucca Valley and Morongo Valley that ended when Tindell hit a deputy’s car and fired on deputies, who returned fire and brought him down, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
In the shoot-out, Tindell fired on eight peace officers. None was seriously injured.
Tindell was hit by deputies bullets in the left ear and right arm. He was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center and could not be moved to the courthouse until this week.
In Tuesday’s hearing, he wore bandages on his arm.