Alexis Pineda ordered held on first-degree murder charge in death of Jose Hernandez-Romero

A Guatemalan man accused of shooting Jose Hernandez-Romero, 24, to death in a downtown D.C. bar early Sunday morning was ordered held without bond today and presented with a premeditated first-degree murder while armed charge in the case.

Alexis Pineda, also 24, appeared in court shackled and wearing a white jail jumpsuit. He did not speak during his hearing and used the services of a Spanish language interpretor to understand the proceedings.

Authorities believe both Pineda and Hernandez-Romero were at El Sauce, a small Latin American restaurant near Logan Circle when Pineda, after staring at Hernandez-Romero, asked “Que paso?” When Hernandez-Romero did not respond, Pineda “produced a handgun from his waistband in his right hand, and shot [Hernandez-Romero] at close range one time,” charging documents in the case allege.

Restaurant security was able to wrestle the gun away from Pineda, who fled out into the street before a witness restrained him and held him until police arrived, the charging documents allege.

Pineda’s attorney, Eugene Ohm with the Public Defender’s Service, said Pineda has no prior criminal history, is gainfully employed, has lived in the area for five years, and has a child.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Saybolt (corrected) said Pineda, an immigrant from Guatemala, is an illegal immigrant and subject to a deportation order.

Pineda is due in court April 21 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.

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