Fil-Am teen pleads not guilty in murder case of 8-year-old neighbor

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – 15-year-old Filipino-American Adrian Jerry Gonzalez has entered a not guilty plea this morning in the murder of his eight-year-old neighbor Maddy Middleton.

Sitting in a green shirt and khaki pants in between his two attorneys, Gonzalez or “AJ” entered his plea to Judge Timothy Volkmann in the courtroom of the Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

Maddy’s father, Michael Middleton, held a rally outside the courtroom to focus the attention on his daughter instead of Gonzalez, her alleged killer.

Middleton lived in the same apartment complex as Gonzalez, the Tannery Arts Center. She was reported missing on July 27 and her body was found the next day in a recycling bin at the apartment complex.

Gonzalez has been charged of murder, rape, and other sexual assaulted offenses.

If found guilty, Gonzalez faces a maximum of life in prison.

Gonzalez is ordered to re-appear in court on October 29th.

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