Foreign News

Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Killing TikToker

Micheal Chukwuebuka, Reporting 

A man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a TikTok personality and his date in a California movie theater.

According to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Joseph Jimenez, 23, from California, was sentenced Monday to life without the possibility of parole, as well as an additional 50 years to life, for the July 26, 2021, killings in Corona, a city southeast of Los Angeles.

Stonix News reliably gathered that movie theater employees found Anthony Barajas, 19, known on TikTok as itsanthonymichael, and Rylee Goodrich, 18, after an evening showing of The Forever Purge.

Goodrich was pronounced dead at the theater, and Barajas was taken to a hospital, where he was placed on life support and later pronounced dead.

Jimenez was arrested in nearby El Cerrito the day after the shootings, the district attorney’s office said.

Jimenez, who was 20 at the time of the killings, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

NBC News reported that in December, Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Hollenhorst ruled that he was sane.

In 2021, Jimenez told The Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper in a jailhouse interview he was schizophrenic and had been tormented by voices.

“The voices said my friends and family were going to be killed,” and that led to his shooting the couple, he told the newspaper.

Jimenez’ defense attorney, Charles Kenyon, told reporters after the sentencing Monday that the killings were tragic but that they also ultimately resulted because of the failures of the mental health system, including inadequate hospitalizations and inadequate care.

Jimenez was really a product of his mental illness, Kenyon said outside court.

“Morally speaking, in many ways he didn’t want for this, he didn’t ask for this,” Kenyon said.

Jimenez said in court Monday before he was sentenced:

“I just want to say to the families that I’m sorry, and I wish I never did what I did, and my condolences.

“If things could have been different, I would have made a different choice.”

Barajas’ mother, Catherine Barajas, said after sentencing that “I’m very happy that this part is over.”

“It’s been a very long 2½ years, and it’s time to close this chapter, to focus on our son and to carry on his legacy.

“We’re going to do that by continuing to do small acts of kindness, one at a time, to make a difference in the world and to keep him alive,” she said.

She also said her son had a beautiful smile and made a difference in the world. Anthony Barajas had almost 1 million followers on TikTok and more on other platforms.

“Anthony was known for his kindness,” she said.

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