LAGUNA NIGUEL : 2 Plead Innocent in Teen's Fatal Spearing

Two San Clemente men arrested in the spearing death of San Clemente teen-ager Steve Woods pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges of murder during a brief hearing in South County Municipal Court.

The preliminary hearing originally scheduled Tuesday morning was postponed until next week, giving defense attorneys time to review more than 200 pages of reports handed them by prosecutors in the morning.

Juan Enriquez Alcocer and Arturo Villalobos, both 20, and four juveniles were charged with murder on Nov. 10, one day after the death of the San Clemente High School senior.

Woods, 17, was speared through the head with the metal rod of a paint roller during an assault on Oct. 15 at Calafia Beach County Park. He never regained consciousness and died in the hospital.

The suspects also face 10 counts each of felony assault and one felony count of throwing a projectile at a moving vehicle. The amended list of charges, filed after Woods' death, does not specify whether prosecutors will press first- or second-degree murder charges.

If convicted of first-degree murder, the defendants could face prison sentences of 25 years to life.

Four juveniles charged in the case will be in Juvenile Court on Tuesday for a hearing. Prosecutors are seeking to have the juveniles tried as adults.

All the defendants remain in custody.

Woods was part of a group of San Clemente High School students who went to Calafia after a school football game. There, according to police reports, one of Wood's companions became involved in an altercation with another group of young adults and teens already at the beach.

The Woods group said that as they tried to drive away to avoid a confrontation, their vehicles were pelted with rocks, bottles and other items. Woods, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of a truck, was impaled through the head by a paint-roller rod.

The attack has outraged South County residents and led to stepped-up gang patrols and arrests in San Clemente.

Although some of the suspects claim membership in a San Clemente gang, prosecutors have said the attack was not gang-related.

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