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Man Charged in April 20 Shooting of Football Star

Times Staff Writer

A Baldwin Park man has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Dennis Weathersby, an Oregon State University football star who was wounded days before the NFL draft.

Police said the suspect, Juan Serna, 25, is a known gang member, but they would not elaborate Friday on a motive for the shooting.

Serna was charged Thursday with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of shooting from a motor vehicle and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Serna pleaded not guilty in Pasadena Superior Court, and bail was set at more than $3 million, authorities said. He is due back in court May 14, when a preliminary hearing will be set.

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The shooting occurred April 20, six days before the National Football League draft. Weathersby, a top-tier college cornerback who had attended Duarte High School, was expected to be drafted in the first round.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Weathersby and a childhood friend were getting into their car near Meridian Street and Citrus View Avenue, an intersection on the Duarte-Irwindale line, when someone shot at them from a passing sport utility vehicle.

A bullet entered Weathersby’s back, passed below his lungs and through his stomach, then entered his upper arm. He spent a few days in a hospital. His friend wasn’t injured.

Last weekend, Weathersby was selected in the fourth round of the draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

This week, investigators from the Temple sheriff’s station served two warrants at two sites in the Duarte area, said Det. Mark Shaughnessy.

He said investigators found several guns, including an assault rifle.


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