Robert Forkner, a Modesto lawyer who appeared on behalf of both suspects — Juan Manuel Tello, 26, of Modesto, and Alexander Hernandez Lopez, 25, of Salida — asked Judge Ricardo Cordova for an extra month, explaining that the defense team was sorting through tips received on Crime Stoppers tip lines.
Forkner, who represents Lopez, said outside the court after the hearing Tuesday, Sept. 25, that police received several hundred tips related to the case and that investigators for the defense were still poring through all of them.
“We’re following up on the tips whether (the prosecution) did or not,” he said. “Mr. Lopez is not guilty in this case.”
The next pretrial hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Police found Ruvalcaba’s body Dec. 16 in an alley between Martin Luther King Boulevard and North Madison Avenue in Modesto shortly after receiving a 7:24 p.m. report about a man down. Several people who knew Ruvalcaba have said he was lured to the alley after stopping at a nearby home and he was shot several times in the face, but police have not given any specific details about the shooting.
Tello and Lopez have been charged with murder and with cultivating hashish or marijuana for sale. Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges in February.
Bail for each man has been set at $2 million.