A man accused of fatally stabbing a 19-year-old at a birthday party in Sylmar in 2012 pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of murder.
David Gage Silva, 21, was at the party with two male cousins, one of whom was friends with Adrian Rosas Morales, who was celebrating his 25th birthday.
About 50 people were at the party in the 13300 block of Sayre Street. At one point, Morales asked Silva to tell the deejay to turn off the music, according to Los Angeles County prosecutors.
Silva's conversation with the deejay and his friends then allegedly became confrontational. As Silva's cousins joined in, a skirmish broke out between them and the deejay's friends in front of the music setup in the garage, prosecutors said.
Anthony Hernandez, 19, staggered to the front of the house with a stab wound to the heart. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Silva was arrested later in the day.
No one who testified at the preliminary hearing witnessed a stabbing, Deputy District Attorney Ani Bailey said. But authorities said Silva's cousins recalled that he had been opening beer bottles with a pocket knife throughout the night.
Silva left through the back of the house and walked the short distance to his home. A girlfriend of one of his cousins testified that once home, Silva appeared to disassemble and throw away a knife and to take off a bloodied green shirt.
Silva, who was being held in lieu of $1.02-million bail, is due back in court Feb. 13. If convicted, he faces 16 years to life in prison.