A man pleaded not guilty today to a charge that he murdered an 18-year-old man in East Oakland last year. Manuel Calderon, 23, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on May 20 for a pretrial hearing on the charge that he’s one of the people responsible for the shooting death of William Mejia in the 400 block of Stoneford Ave. at about 5:20 a.m. on March 3, 2012. Oakland police Officer Leonel Sanchez said in a probable cause statement filed in court that four eyewitnesses identified Calderon as “one of the subjects that shot and killed William Mejia.” Calderon was only recently charged in the case. Another suspect, 26-year-old Jonathan Santacruz, was arrested last year and has undergone a preliminary hearing at which a judge ruled that prosecutors produced enough evidence to have him stand trial.
Calderon and Santacruz, who are both accused of fatally shooting Mejia, are being held in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail. Calderon also is charged with having two prior felony convictions in San Joaquin County, which could add to his prison term if he’s convicted. Prosecutors allege that he was convicted of the sale or transportation of marijuana on Nov. 13, 2009, and of receiving stolen property on Dec. 7, 2009. Calderon was on probation at the time that Mejia was killed, according to Sanchez. Prosecutors and police haven’t revealed a motive for Mejia’s shooting death.
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