Forever Purge Killer Sentenced for 2 Murders

Joseph Jiminez Jr. will serve life in prison with no chance of parole
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2021 12:10 PM CDT
Updated Feb 26, 2024 7:05 PM CST
She Texted Her Mom From the Theater. Then She Was Dead
Joseph Jimenez, 20, center, is greeted by his attorneys Philip Greenberg, left, and Charles Kenyon during his arraignment at the Riverside Hall of Justice in Riverside, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.   (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)
UPDATE Feb 26, 2024 7:05 PM CST

A California man convicted of fatally shooting two teenagers on a first date during a 2021 showing of The Forever Purge has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Joseph Jimenez Jr., 23, was found guilty in December of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as a sentencing enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing death, the AP reports. Prosecutors said he shot Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, in the back of the head as they watched a late-night showing of the horror-action film at a theater in Corona, southeast of Los Angeles. They were the only other people in the theater. Jimenez initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was ruled sane in December by Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Hollenhorst.

Aug 16, 2021 12:10 PM CDT

On July 26, 18-year-old Rylee Goodrich texted her mother from a showing of The Forever Purge, saying she didn't like the violent movie. The teen, who was on a first date with 19-year-old social media personality Anthony Barajas, was dead before the end of it. Goodrich and Barajas, who died in the hospital days later, were allegedly shot in the Corona, Calif., movie theater by 20-year-old Joseph Jiminez, and their loved ones are struggling to understand why they were killed by a stranger, the Los Angeles Times reports. Jiminez and three friends he arrived with were the only other people in the theater, authorities say. According to court documents, the three friends left because Jiminez was behaving strangely and they were worried he had a gun.

The friends—who did not contact police or warn anybody else about Jiminez—were still in the parking lot when Jiminez ran from the theater and sped away in his car. Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson tells the Press-Enterprise that while the friends did not act like "good citizens," their inaction was not a crime. After his arrest, Jiminez blamed voices in his head for the shooting, saying he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia eight months earlier but had stopped taking his medication. His arraignment on murder charges has been postponed until Sept. 27 but schizophrenia has not been mentioned in court, the Times reports. Investigators say he did not know Barajas or Goodrich and had no contact with them before the shooting. (More California stories.)

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