A Santa Maria man charged with murder in the drive-by shooting of an Oceano teenager has pleaded not guilty.
Armando Yepez, 21, entered his plea today in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to charges including murder and committing a crime to benefit a street gang, as well as several enhancements that could strengthen his penalty if he’s convicted.
Yepez is accused of shooting 17-year-old Gabriel Salgado to death in Oceano on Nov. 17.
He faces a possible enhanced penalty because of a strike on his record from a conviction of assault with a deadly weapon and committing a crime to benefit a street gang in 2007.
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Yepez’s attorney, Gerald Carrasco, sought a bail reduction. But Judge Ginger Garrett denied the motion. Yepez remains in custody in San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail.
The case is scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing on June 20 at 11 a.m. and a preliminary hearing on June 27 at 1:30 p.m.