The preliminary hearing in the murder trial for the Santa Ana man accused of fatally stabbing Nathan Joe Alfaro of Westminster at club in Santa Ana on March 3 began this morning. The hearing took place at the OC Superior Court Central Justice Center in Santa Ana for Juan Angel Rivera, 21, charged with one felony count of murder. Rivera plead not guilty in the case of the stabbing of 23 year-old Alfaro. The incident occurred after a fight broke out during a show at DTSA Underground. Alfaro was fatally stabbed in his upper body at the during the second act of a five band bill headlined by LA punk band Feels. Alfaro was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead.
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The incident on 220 E. Third St. occurred during a weekly installment of Top Acid Thursdays, a club night hosted by the DIY Santa Ana nomadic venue created by Chris Gonzalez. At the time of the incident, the suspect—described as a short, Hispanic man with long hair tied back in a bun—was seen aggressively moshing in the crowd during the show before the fight broke out. The stabbing happened just after 10:30 p.m. Rivera is accused of leaving the club with several other people and was arrested about 10:40 a.m. the next morning as he was leaving his home. If convicted, River faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.