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Wildomar Woman Charged With Murder, Child Endangerment in Pechanga Shooting

The woman was supposed to appear in a Murrieta courtroom Wednesday to be arraigned on charges related to the death of the father of her child, but she was not medically cleared to appear just yet, officials said.

A Wildomar woman accused of gunning down her boyfriend during a confrontation at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has been charged with murder.

Riverside County District Attorney Spokesman John Hall tells Patch that the office filed a charge of murder against Maria Santos Vihnanek, 31, on Wednesday.  

The DA's office also added a special circumstance of lying in wait and personal use of a firearm to the charge.  That means that Vihnanek could be eligible for the death penalty, if convicted of everything, Hall said. 

The woman-- suspected of killing 49-year-old Keith Rodman of Los Angeles,  who fathered her 6-month-old child-- was also charged Wednesday with felony child endangerment, Hall said. 

"The baby was in the same hotel room where the shooting occurred," he said. 

Vihnanek is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.  

She was supposed to appear in a Murrieta courtroom on Wednesday, but was not medically cleared to be transported to court, so that appearance has been pushed back until Friday, Hall told Patch.

According to Riverside County sheriff's investigators, Vihnanek confronted Rodman as he strode through the casino lobby shortly before 11 p.m. Friday. The defendant allegedly pulled a handgun and opened fire on the victim, who died at Temecula Valley Hospital about 90 minutes later of multiple gunshot wounds.

Vihnanek fled back to her room at the resort, where she had left her child, according to sheriff's Sgt. Mike Manning.

He said the defendant suffered a "self-inflicted injury," but did not elaborate. Deputies located her the following day and arrested her without incident. She was treated at a hospital and booked into jail.

The baby, who was not injured, was placed in the custody of county child protective services.

A possible motive for the shooting was not disclosed.


–  City News Service contributed to this report.

Lisa Hanson Chellman February 28, 2014 at 09:21 AM
I'm thinking everyone is getting off the subject. Temecula Patch if you need writers, I am available. I would at least write an article that doesn't go around in circles.
Jimmy Dean February 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM
That's not Marty it's Alek, lol
Guero Nunez March 01, 2014 at 05:28 PM
So she left the baby in the room and waited in the lobby for him. That is not too hard to understand or believe.The Press Enterprise reported that the shooting occurred in the hotel room. It is sad that the Press Enterprise is more concerned with advertising $$$ than accurate reporting. People used to say that Soboba was not safe. I think Pechanga is becoming just as bad. I am grateful the Patch is not told what it can and can not write. Pechanga pays a lot to have the news censored and written in a way that make Pechanga the good guy all the time. I know for a fact that the current leadership is in trouble again.
Alek J Hidell March 01, 2014 at 05:34 PM
With the pechanga? it's all about the wampum...
Steve M March 01, 2014 at 05:35 PM
Leave all the gambling in Las Vegas and another state in the east for people who wanna self destruct with a 80% chance of losing.

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