Army veteran Francisco Garcia was leaving a party earlier this month in Sylmar when a dispute erupted, and the 21-year-old was shot and killed. One alleged gang member has been charged in his death, and Monday a second man was charged.
Jerry Raymond Carmona, 26, pleaded not guilty Monday to murder, attempted murder and firearm charges in connection with the shooting death of Garcia, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Vincent Anthony Estrada, 18, pleaded not guilty to identical charges last week.
Prosecutors said the shooting was committed on behalf of a criminal street gang.
Garcia had left the Nov. 9 party on Dronefield Street in Sylmar and was standing on the sidewalk when a confrontation occurred, two vehicles stopped, there was yelling, and the veteran was shot, police said.
Garcia’s girlfriend told authorities the party was a homecoming for Garcia after he returned from Afghanistan. But the L.A. Times found that Garcia was never deployed overseas. Julie Halpin, a spokeswoman for Fort Drum in New York, said Garcia worked as a cannon crew member at Fort Drum, where he was stationed. Garcia enlisted in June 2012 and remained at Fort Drum until his separation in July.
If Estrada and Carmona are convicted, they could face life in prison, prosecutors said. Each is being held on $2 million bail.