The man charged with killing TikTok star Anthony Barajas at a movie theater pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

A police car in a parking lot with its lights and siren activated
Joseph Jimenez, the suspect charged in the murder case of Anthony Barajas and Rylee Goodrich, entered an insanity plea. Mark Makela/Getty Images
  • Joseph Jimenez was arrested in July as the suspect in the murder case of a TikToker and his friend.
  • Jimenez pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of murder.
  • Jimenez is due in court on January 28 for a felony settlement conference.
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The man charged with two counts of murder in the July killing of a TikTok star and his friend has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

Joseph Jimenez entered the pleas on Monday, John Hall, a spokesperson for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, told Insider. The hearing took place at the Riverside Hall of Justice, according to the Press-Enterprise.

If found guilty at trial, “there would be a second phase to determine if the defendant was insane at the time of the crimes,” Hall said.

Anthony Barajas, a 19-year-old TikTok influencer, and his friend, 18-year-old Rylee Goodrich, were shot during a screening of the horror movie “The Forever Purge” in the Crossings mall in Corona, California, on July 26, police said. The two were on a date, Goodrich’s father told the DailyMail.

Barajas had over 940,000 followers and 34 million views on his since-deleted TikTok handle @itsanthonymichael, where he was known for making comedy skits and videos showing him hanging out with friends and family. He was a star player on his former high school soccer team, according to KABC, a local ABC affiliate outlet.

Goodrich died at the scene and Barajas was on life support until he died on July 31. His family raised over $US98,000 ($AU135,357) on GoFundMe to cover his medical fees. A GoFundMe to support Goodrich’s family raised $US77,000 ($AU106,352).

The Corona Police Department arrested Jimenez on July 27 after the police collected witness statements and executed a search warrant on his residence, where officers said they discovered a firearm and “additional evidence related to the crime scene,” according to a statement by the Corona Police.

Jimenez, 20, was booked on July 28 at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility under four felony charges, including robbery with a gun, attempted murder, murder, and murder with malice, according to Riverside County inmate records.

In a jailhouse interview with The Press-Enterprise published on August 4, Jimenez said that voices in his head told him that his “friends and family were going to be killed” if he did not shoot Barajas and Goodrich.

Hall said the death penalty would be an option if Jimenez were convicted due to the nature of the charges.

Jimenez will next appear in court on January 28, the district attorney’s spokesperson said, where attorneys will meet for a felony settlement conference.

Jimenez’s attorney, Charles Kenyon, did not respond to a request for comment.

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