A Compton man and teen boy pleaded not guilty in Long Beach Superior Court to the fatal day-time shooting of a man in February, Los Angeles County District Attorney officials announced Friday.
Joe Anthony Avila, 25, and 17-year-old Jonathan Isaiah Buckner, both alleged gang members, were charged with murder. Buckner was charged as an adult.
On the afternoon of Feb. 10, Robert Proano, 22, was walking with his girlfriend near the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue in Long Beach when he was approached by Avila and Buckner, police said. According to authorities, Avila and Buckner are gang members.
Avila allegedly asked Proano where he was from, at which point Buckner allegedly punched Proano in the face, according to police.
As the 22-year-old tried to fight back, Avila reportedly pulled out a gun and shot him. Proano stumbled to a median, collapsed and later died.
Both Buckner and Avila fled before Long Beach police officers arrived, but were arrested on suspicion of murder about a month later.
Their next court appearance is scheduled for June 4 at Long Beach Superior Court. If convicted as charged, Avila faces a maximum sentence of 86 years to life in state prison. Buckner could be given 50 years to life in state prison.
Mr. Proano was a resident of Long Beach, California at the time of his passing.