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Teen pleads not guilty in babys shooting death

City News Service | 11/5/2012, 9:26 a.m.

COMPTON, Calif.--A 15-year-old boy being prosecuted as an adult in connection with a June 4 gang shooting that killed a 14-month-old boy and wounded the toddler's father in Watts pleaded not guilty today to murder and attempted murder charges.

Donald Ray Dokins was arraigned in Compton Superior Court on charges stemming from the death of Angel Cortez and the wounding of the boy's father, Mauro, who was shot in the shoulder.

He was held to answer to the charges on July 16 and is due back in court Nov. 28 for a pretrial hearing.

The criminal complaint includes the allegations that the shooting was "committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang" and that Dokins intentionally discharged a handgun.

The baby was in the arms of his father--who had no gang affiliation and was standing with a number of other people--when the shooting occurred on Hickory Street near 105th Street about 7:50 p.m., according to police.

Doctors were unable to save the toddler, who underwent surgery and was declared dead at 10:20 p.m.

The next day, Mauro Cortez went before television news crews and reporters to ask for the public's help in finding the shooter, who rode up on a bicycle and fired numerous shots before riding away.

The Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles Kings each offered $50,000 rewards for information leading to the assailant's arrest and conviction.

Dokins, who was arrested June 27 by Los Angeles police, faces a potential life sentence if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.