An 18-year-old Palos Verdes High School student who was freed from jail on $5 million bail and returned to classes — sparking outrage among some parents — pleaded not guilty Wednesday to his alleged role in a gang-related killing in South Los Angeles.
Cameron Terrell, who is identified in the criminal complaint with the moniker “White Boy,” appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, where he entered his plea to one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors also allege that the crimes were committed “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang.” Although Terrell is a white Palos Verdes Estates resident, he allegedly became a member of a predominantly black South Los Angeles street gang.
Superior Court Judge Mark Hanasono ordered Terrell to return to court Jan. 9, when a date is scheduled to be set for a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present some of the evidence against Terrell in connection with the crime. After spending a week in jail following his Oct. 12 arrest, Terrell was freed on bail.
Police said Terrell drove the car involved in the Oct. 1 shooting death of Justin Holmes, 21, who was gunned down at 78th Street near Western Avenue. Two juveniles also were arrested and charged with murder. Police said the pair allegedly approached Holmes and two other victims on the sidewalk and opened fire, striking Holmes.
Following his release from jail, Terrell returned to class, prompting an outcry from some parents who called him a danger to other students. About a half-dozen parents gathered at the school Nov. 13 to demand that he be suspended from classes.
That day, Palos Verdes Unified School District Superintendent Don Austin said Terrell’s parents, media consulting firm President Donald Wayne Terrell and interior designer Debra Terrell, agreed to pull their son from the campus to educate him at home.