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East Palo Alto homicide suspect pleads not guilty to murder, attempted murder charges

 

A suspect in a 2014 East Palo Alto homicide who was arrested earlier this month pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Antonio Sotelo-Moreno, a 26-year-old East Palo Alto resident, was arraigned in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on one count of murder and three counts each of attempted murder, negligent discharge of a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon.

He pleaded not guilty and was assigned representation by attorney Jeff Jackson, Wagstaffe said.

Moreno is accused of shooting four people who were driving near the corner of Purdue Street and Georgetown Avenue around 11:35 p.m. on Aug. 17, 2014. One victim, 18-year-old Nazario Barajas, was pronounced dead at the

scene.

One suspect in the shooting, 23-year-old Menlo Park resident Herson Cruz, was arrested on Dec. 29, 2014 after he was spotted by an off-duty police officer, according to East Palo Alto police.

Cruz, who is thought to have been the driver in the shooting, has been charged with murder and is set to go to jury trial on April 18, with a pretrial conference set for Dec. 9, Wagstaffe said. He remains in custody on no bail status.

Sotelo-Moreno allegedly fled to Mexico, but was taken into custody with the help of the U.S. Marshals and returned to the Bay Area on Nov. 5.

He is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 17 to set a date for a preliminary hearing and remains in custody without bail, Wagstaffe said.

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