A 32-year-old Palm Desert woman pleaded not guilty to murder and torture charges in connection with the the death of a La Quinta man whose body was found in a trash can in a gated community in November, reports City News Service.
Prosecutors say that Cristina Noelle Canimo used a knife, box cutter, screwdriver, and hammer in the crime. She faces a murder charge that includes a special circumstance allegation of inflicting torture during the commission of a murder. Those charges make her eligible for the death penalty.
The body of Ronald Clarke, 87, was found on November 22 in a garbage bin on Parkway Esplanade. Canimo was arrested on the same street the next day.
Clarke had lived at the same residential care facility where Canimo worked and where his body was found.