Boy, 14, pleads not guilty to murder in Clairemont park shooting

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 14-year-old boy accused in a deadly shooting at a Clairemont park earlier this year pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge.

The boy, whose name is withheld due to his age, was arrested last week along with 19-year-old Julian Vargas in connection with the Feb. 19 shooting near the North Clairemont Recreation Center.

According to Lt. Steve Shebloski of the San Diego Police Department, officers arrived at the park just before noon to find Cesar Lopez-Sandoval down in a grassy area with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital, where he died about three hours later.

Shebloski said an investigation revealed that the victim got into “a brief physical confrontation” with Vargas and the boy just prior to being shot. The lieutenant said examination of surveillance footage, witness interviews and other evidence led to the two suspects’ arrests last Thursday.

The boy, who was arraigned in San Diego juvenile court, will remain in custody following his pleas to murder and a gun-use allegation.

Vargas has also been charged with murder and pleaded not guilty on Monday.

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