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3 charged with murder in stabbing death of 16-year-old Hemet boy

A man and two teenagers were charged with murder Tuesday in the stabbing death of a 16-year-old boy near Hemet last week, officials said.

The suspects — identified as Francisco Zavala Jr., 20, of Hemet; Francisco Siordia, 17, of San Jacinto; and Joseph Venegas, 15, of Hemet — were also charged with a special circumstance of murder during the commission of robbery, the Riverside County district attorney's office announced. Zavala faces an additional enhancement alleging he personally used a deadly weapon.

Siordia and Venegas are being charged as adults, prosecutors said. All three were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors allege the suspects killed 16-year-old Eric Ronald Sargeant Jr. on Jan. 14 while trying to take his cellphone. Sargeant was stabbed multiple times, prosecutors said.


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