A college freshman accused of murdering an acquaintance and wounding two others over a PlayStation console pleaded not guilty to murder charges Monday.
Bound by handcuffs and shackles, Jonquel Brooks, 19, of Hayward,
appeared in Fresno County Superior Court one week after he allegedly opened fire inside his apartment and became the target of a citywide manhunt by police and federal authorities.
Brooks, who attended California State University, Fresno, is charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder. He remains jailed on $5.75 million bail.
Defense lawyer David Mugridge said after the arraignment that he was considering a self-defense argument.
Authorities allege that Brooks killed Fresno City College student Brant Daniels, 19, last Monday during a dispute over the video game console in an apartment complex just blocks from the Cal State Fresno campus.
Fresno State student Roderick Buycks, 19, of Mountain View, and Drew Pfeiff, 22, a prospective student from Raleigh, N.C., were wounded. A fourth man, Kodi Shiflett, was not injured.
Brooks then fled the apartment building and led police and federal agents on a 12-hour manhunt before turning himself in. "We are a God-fearing family, and we have raised Jonquel to be a God-fearing child," Brooks' father, Silas Brooks, said after the hearing. "We don't know what happened last Monday night, but we are all in prayer."
If convicted, Brooks faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Mugridge said Brooks did not have a criminal record, and friends described him as an accomplished student and a goofy teenager who wanted to be a parole officer.
Fresno police said Monday that the gun used in the shootings has not been found.
Brooks was scheduled to return to court on June 28.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)