6 Gang Members Deny Guilt in Killing of Officer

Six former or current gang members pleaded not guilty Tuesday to conspiring to commit a shooting in 1988 that ended with the murder of San Diego Police Officer Jerry Hartless.

The six defendants include Stacy Butler, 28, who stood trial earlier this year on charges of murdering Hartless. The jury deadlocked, and a mistrial was declared.

Last week, the county grand jury indicted Butler and five other co-defendants, some of whom were named in testimony in Butler's trial.

Butler and the five others are also charged with murdering Hartless, 24, who was shot in the forehead Jan. 9, 1988, in Southeast San Diego, and died three weeks later without regaining consciousness.

San Diego Superior Court Judge William Kennedy set a tentative trial date for Feb. 11.

Only Butler could face the death penalty if he is convicted. The district attorney believes he is the gunman chased by Hartless the night gang members ran in different directions when they saw a police car drive by.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Keith Burt filed a motion for all six defendants to be tried together. Before the grand jury's indictment, the other five defendants had been charged with murder in Municipal Court and were awaiting a preliminary hearing next month.

The other co-defendants are Clifton Cunningham, 29; Edrick Jordan, 27; Kyle Winters, 27; Darryl Bradshaw, 29, and Kevin Standard, 27.

The district attorney said the group conspired on Jan. 3, 1988, to shoot some members of a rival gang called Rob Dog's Boys.

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