A 17-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting an infant in East Palo Alto last month pleaded not guilty to murder in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon. Fabian Zaragoza, wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit with his long hair in a ponytail, entered his plea before Judge Barbara Mallach as the 3-month-old victim’s parents — Ivonne Garcia Lopez and Oscar Jimenez, of Redwood City — sat in the front row of the courtroom.
“I’m not guilty,” Zaragoza said. Zaragoza is suspected of lying in wait with another gunman and firing as many as 15 gunshots into the family’s car as they left an East Palo Alto baby shower on June 5, according to police. Baby Izack Jesus was shot in the head, and later died at a hospital. The infant’s parents were both wounded.
Investigators believe that Zaragoza and an accomplice targeted the family after mistaking them for Sureno gang members who had assaulted Zaragoza in Redwood City on May 31. In addition to murder, Zaragoza has been charged with two counts of attempted murder with the infliction of great bodily injury, along with the special circumstances of lying in wait and the use of a firearm in the commission of the crimes.He is being held without bail and faces life in prison if convicted. Zaragoza is scheduled to reappear in court Aug. 10 to set a preliminary hearing date.
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