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Man pleads not guilty to fatally shooting fellow Long Beach partygoer

Man pleads not guilty to fatally shooting fellow Long Beach partygoer
A map shows the approximate location of where Sambo Chhoy, 33, was shot and killed Jan. 20 in Long Beach after leaving a party. (Bing)

A suspected gang member pleaded not guilty to shooting a man to death in Long Beach, authorities said.

Thearath Sam, 26, of Pomona, is accused of shooting and killing Sambo Chhoy, 33 — also a suspected gang member — on Jan. 20 after they allegedly got into an argument at a party in Long Beach and were told to leave, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

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Prosecutors say Sam followed Chhoy for two blocks before allegedly shooting him near the intersection of New York Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Although Chhoy was also a suspected gang member, police do not believe gang rivalry prompted the killing.

After Long Beach police arrested Sam in February, he was charged with murder and illegally possessing a firearm. His bail has been set at $2 million. If convicted, he faces up to 54 years and eight months in state prison.

Chhoy's death in January marked Long Beach's first murder of 2014.

Twitter: @frankshyong
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