A Pomona man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a capital murder charge stemming from the killing of an 11-year-old boy kidnapped nearly three decades ago while walking home from school in Inglewood.
Edward Donell Thomas, 50, is charged with the May 24, 1990, death of William Tillett, who was en route home from Kew Elementary School when he was abducted at about 3 p.m. in the area of Imperial Highway and Crenshaw Boulevard.
The boy’s body was found hours later in a carport in a residential neighborhood in Hawthorne, authorities said.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations of murder during the commission of a kidnapping and murder while lying in wait.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Thomas, who also is facing a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Thomas was arrested Feb. 14 by Inglewood police and has remained jailed without bail.
Authorities have not released details about how the boy was killed or what led investigators to Thomas.
He is due back May 1 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.
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