Two Northern California gunmen accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old man after a weekend party in Glendale pleaded not guilty to murder and multiple other charges, officials said Tuesday.
Laquan Dontae Parker, 24, of Stockton, and Brandon Jamal Perkins, 26, of Suisun City, were each charged with one count of murder, possession of a firearm by a felon with prior convictions and carrying a loaded stolen firearm, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
No charges were filed against 18-year-old Napa resident Dezerea Lyons, who police said had called the attackers after feeling insulted by comments made by the victim.
Lyons, who had been arrested, was released from custody Tuesday after police were satisfied that there were insufficient grounds for making a criminal complaint, according to the district attorney’s office.
On Friday night, the victim, Phillip Niles Jr., was out with friends at the Argyle in Hollywood, where he met Lyons and her friend. Videos posted on social media show Lyons and another woman singing and dancing, with drinks in hand, at the nightclub.
Eventually, the group moved the party to an apartment in the 1700 block of North Verdugo Road, according to Glendale Police Sgt. Robert William.
There, Lyons reportedly felt insulted by comments made by Niles, a recent Los Angeles transplant from Daytona Beach, Fla. Police declined to reveal the nature of the insults.
“You don’t know me,” she told Niles, according to police. “You don’t know what I’m capable of.”
After Lyons texted and called the suspects, they showed up to pick her up, reportedly armed with handguns, police said. At that point, the two women left the apartment, and Niles walked them out.
Lyons and her friend got into the car, where Perkins and Parker reportedly confronted Niles.
Just before 4 a.m., neighbors heard the gunfire.
With multiple gunshot wounds, Niles ran a short distance before collapsing on the front lawn of an elderly couple’s home on the 1600 block of The Midway Street.
When police arrived, he was dead.
The two men jumped in the car and fled to a Comfort Inn in Monrovia, where they had rented a room. That’s where the two men, along with Lyons, were arrested, after police spotted the trio leaving the hotel later that day.
If convicted, Parker and Perkins face a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. Prosecutors will ask for bail to be set at $3 million for each suspect.
Alene Tchekmedyian, email@example.com
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