All six defendants charged in connection with the August murder of a 16-year-old Oakley boy in Antioch pleaded not guilty this morning in Contra Costa County Superior Court. Five Antioch men — Leon Moreno, 19, Tony Martin, 19, Carlos Guzman, 17, Christopher Donaldson, 21, and 18-year-old Ricky Mendoza — all pleaded not guilty to murder charges stemming from the death of Martin Navarro. Brentwood resident Jessica Juarez, 18, pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder for her alleged role in the slaying.
The defendants also denied gang enhancement charges. Police said that on Aug. 20, all of the defendants except for Guzman arrived uninvited to a birthday party in Oakley, where a fight broke out that led to Navarro’s murder Police said phone records show that Guzman was on his way to the party and had ordered his fellow gang members to kill Navarro. Juarez, Guzman’s girlfriend who had previously dated Navarro, was the first to meet with Navarro once the group arrived at the party.
Guzman is being tried as an adult for the boy’s murder. Martin is also suspected of shooting a 17-year-old girl as she was fleeing the party, and has also been charged with attempted murder. A preliminary hearing for the six defendants has been scheduled for Jan. 17 in Martinez.
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