GANG MEMBER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO FATAL SHOOTING OF LAPD CHIEF PARK’S GRANDDAUGHTER

GANG MEMBER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO FATAL
SHOOTING OF LAPD CHIEF PARK’S
GRANDDAUGHTER

JUNE 23, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Victoria Pipkin Director of Communications
Sandi GibbonsPublic Information Officer
(213) 974-3525

LOS ANGELES–An alleged street gang member, charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of the 20-year-old granddaughter of LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, pled not guilty during an arraignment hearing today, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Anthony Manzella of the Major Crimes Division said Samuel Sharad Shabazz, 18 (dob 8-13-81), denied the special allegations in case No. BA 203410. He returns to court on July 10 for preliminary hearing setting.

He remains in custody, and because it is a capital murder case there is no bail. The District Attorney’s Office will make a decision on whether to seek the death penalty sometime after the preliminary hearing and prior to trial.

During today’s hearing, Judge Kevin Brown also ordered that the news media not show any body pictures of Shabazz. There is a concern that the defendant’s alleged gang ties may have an adverse impact on witness testimony.

Shabazz was arrested on June 6 by detectives with the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division. He also is charged with attempted murder because the target of the shooting was a passenger in the car driven by Parks’ granddaughter. The young man, a childhood friend of the victim, is an alleged rival gang member, who ducked when Shabazz walked up to the car and fired several shots, killing Lori Rene Gonzalez on May 28.

The felony complaint alleges that Shabazz personally used and fired a handgun to commit the crimes, allegations that could add time to any sentence he receives.

In addition, under a law that went into effect this year, the District Attorney’s office filed a special allegation that Shabazz “was an active participant in a criminal street gang and the murder was carried out to further the activities of the criminal street gang.”

oOo

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