General Crime

Devante Laws pleads not guilty to the accessory charge in the shooting death of Mechthild Schroer

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A man arrested last week in connection with the killing of a German tourist in San Francisco in 2010 pleaded not guilty today to a charge of being an accessory to the murder, a district attorney’s office spokesman said.

Devante Laws, 21, pleaded not guilty this afternoon to the accessory charge in the shooting death of Mechthild Schroer, a 50-year-old woman who was shot and killed on Aug. 8, 2010, in the 400 block of Mason Street near Union Square, district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said.

Laws was arrested in Hayward last Thursday after investigators received a tip about his whereabouts, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Laws’ arrest came from a tip to the website northerncaliforniamostwanted.org, which was created via a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement officials, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Six other people have been charged and await trial in Schroer’s killing, although one had accessory charges dismissed after he was indicted in a separate federal court case, prosecutors said.

Laws will join the other defendants in San Francisco Superior Court on Feb. 3, Bastian said.

According to prosecutors, Schroer, a resident of Minden, Germany, was staying at a hotel near Union Square with her husband and got caught in the crossfire between two groups of people outside a party.

Prosecutors indicted the other defendants through the criminal grand jury process because of the complexity of the case involving multiple defendants and roughly 70 witnesses.

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