A 27-year-old Newbury Park man accused of fatally shooting his sister's boyfriend pleaded not guilty in Ventura County Municipal Court to a charge of murder, a defense attorney said Tuesday.
Todd Richard Love was involved in a "very violent confrontation" with Frank Kish, 31, that turned deadly when Love shot Kish repeatedly June 20, Deputy Public Defender Robert A. Dahlstedt said.
"The question would be whether there was an ongoing fight . . . and if (the shooting) is justified," Dahlstedt said outside of court Tuesday.
Dahlstedt said Love was on the phone June 20 with 911 emergency operators summoning help when he was attacked by Kish. In the violent exchange, Love shot Kish, who died four days later of multiple gunshot wounds to the face and stomach.
A tape of the 911 phone call is inconclusive regarding the circumstances surrounding the shooting, Dahlstedt said.
"It shows there was a very violent confrontation, but I don't think it shows (Love) is a murderer," the defense attorney said.
Kish and Love lived in the same Newbury Park house where the shooting took place, police said.
Investigators arrested Love outside the San Marcos Court home minutes after responding to a report of shots being fired. Love had been charged with attempted murder before Kish died June 24 at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 20.