Not guilty plea for 1981 murder of Cabazon leader
James “Jimmy” Hughes pleaded not guilty to the 1981 murders of three people, including a former leader of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians of California.

Hughes, 52, was a security guard for the tribe. Fred Alvarez, 32, was vice chairman at the time and suspected Hughes and others of cheating the tribe out of money.

Authorities say John Philip Nichols, a financial adviser for the tribe, hired Hughes to kill Alvarez and two of Alvarez's friends. Their bodies were found at a home in Rancho Mirage on July 1, 1981.

Get the Story:
Suspect pleads not guilty to charges (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 12/16)
Jimmy Hughes Makes First Court Appearance in Indio (KESQ-TV 12/15)

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Cabazon murders tied to corruption coverup (10/2)
Arrest made for murder of ex-Cabazon leader (9/29)
Report: Triple murder linked to tribal weapons deal (10/10)