A reputed member of a graffiti tagging crew, who was allegedly involved in the killing of a Santa Monica College basketball player, has pleaded innocent to a murder charge.
Miguel Chavez, 19, could receive the death penalty if convicted of the Feb. 17 shooting death of Davy Fortson outside a hamburger stand at Lincoln and Pico boulevards.
On Wednesday, Santa Monica Municipal Court Commissioner David M. Durst ordered Chavez to appear in court April 11 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
Chavez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
His alleged partner and the accused gunman, a 16-year-old, has been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. A hearing to determine whether he can be tried as an adult will be held in Inglewood Juvenile Court on April 20. The youth is in custody without bail.
Fortson and a group of friends were confronted by as many as six youths. A fight ensued, and the 16-year-old allegedly pulled out a .25-caliber handgun, shooting Fortson in the chest.