Six suspects accused of the fatal shooting of a German tourist near San Francisco’s Union Square last year pleaded not guilty today to charges in the case.
Mechthild Schroer, a 50-year-old woman from Minden, Germany, was fatally shot on Aug. 8, 2010, in the 400 block of Mason Street after getting caught in the crossfire of a shootout between groups of people outside a private party, police said. Schroer had been visiting the U.S. with her husband Stefan, and the couple had been staying at a nearby hotel.
Two teens, a 15-year-old boy and 19-year-old woman, were also struck by the gunfire but survived. None of the three victims were the intended targets of the shooting, according to police.
A total of seven suspects were arrested in May in connection with the shooting, and an eighth suspect is still being sought by police. Phillip Stewart, 19, Marcus Blueford, 19, Delvon Scott, 20, Willie Eason, 19, and Raheem Jackson, 17, were charged with murder, while Gethsamine Pita, 18, and a juvenile were charged with being an accessory to murder, prosecutors said.
Jackson is being charged as an adult in the case, which also involves weapon and gang-related charges against the suspects. At a joint hearing in San Francisco Superior Court this afternoon involving all of the defendants except the juvenile, the six pleaded not guilty to the various charges against them.
Prosecutors have said they will not be seeking the death penalty in the case after taking into account the suspects’ ages and prior criminal histories. All of the suspects remain in custody on bail amounts ranging from $1 million to $7 million. They will return to court again on Aug. 4 to discuss issues with the evidence in the case.
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