LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Two reputed gang members pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge stemming from the Christmas Day shooting death of a civilian sheriff's employee in Pasadena.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba denied bail for Larry Darnell Bishop Jr., 20, and Jerron Donald Harris, 25, both of whom are jailed in Victor McClinton's slaying.
McClinton, a 49-year-old law enforcement technician, neighborhood athletics coach and father of two, was walking a fellow coach to his car when the gunfire erupted about 11 a.m. Dec. 25 at Newport Avenue and Wyoming Street, according to police and prosecutors.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations of shooting from a motor vehicle and murder to further the activities of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the two.
Bishop and Harris are charged with one count each of attempted murder for wounding the intended victim, who crashed his vehicle into a tree, along with two counts each of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
A third defendant, Gary Aurthur Davis, 20, pleaded not guilty to one count of being an accessory after the fact. He is jailed on $1 million bail.
"Our clients adamantly deny these charges," said Deputy Public Defender Elena Saris, Bishop's attorney, said outside court. "There was a great deal of pressure on the police to make a quick arrest in this case and we would caution everyone, especially the media, not to rush to judgment.
Bishop, Harris and Davis are due back in court Feb. 15 when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.