Two defendants accused of participating in a kidnap for ransom plot appeared briefly Thursday morning in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
Authorities say Arturo Martinez, Adan Esquivel and two other suspects took the victim from his rural home in Stanislaus County on June 15 and drove him to a Patterson home, where they assaulted him for nine hours because they believed he had stolen from them.
Martinez, 19, of Modesto, Esquivel, 21, of Patterson, and Jonathan Figueroa, 22, of Modesto have been charged with kidnapping for ransom, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. They remain in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail.
Figueroa, who did not appear in Thursday’s hearing, is scheduled to return to court Monday for a hearing to determine whether he is mentally fit to be prosecuted.
It’s unclear why his mental health has come into question. Stanislaus County sheriff’s officials were still looking for the fourth suspect, Victor Sandoval, 21, of Patterson. He faces the same charges as the other suspects.
Thursday’s pretrial hearing for Martinez and Esquivel was postponed until Aug. 20. Deputy District Attorney Tom Brennan told the judge he had just given the police reports to the defense attorneys.
The judge has not yet scheduled a preliminary hearing for defendants in custody.