Two women pleaded not guilty Thursday to a capital murder charge stemming from a liquor store clerk’s shooting death during an attempted robbery in North Hollywood last year.
Rosa Manuela Barrientos, 23, of Los Angeles, and Maria Michelle Inzunza, 25, of Hollywood, are charged in the Sept. 24 killing of Mohammed Kalam, 61, of North Hollywood at the Liquor Mart at Sherman Way and Bellaire Avenue.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of an attempted robbery. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the two, who are also charged with attempted second-degree robbery.
The criminal complaint alleges that Barrientos intentionally discharged a handgun during the crime and that she has a 2015 conviction for second-degree robbery.
Customers and neighboring business operators said Kalam, a native of Bangladesh, had worked the late shift at the liquor store for many years.
Barrientos and Inzunza were arrested Sept. 27 by Los Angeles police and have been behind bars since then.
The two are due back in a Van Nuys courtroom March 1, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.
–City News Service