SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - Five people are facing murder charges in the death of a homeless man who was hit with a skateboard and rocks in Santa Cruz.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that the defendants each pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in the fatal beating of 51-year-old Charles Robert Powers.
Powers was found dead on Nov. 16 at a homeless camp. The Coroner's Office determined he died of blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities have said the injury was caused by a blow from a skateboard.
The five defendants, who range in age from the early 20s to the early 40s, have been identified as Jeremiah Long, Shaelyn Gonzales, Michael Hudson, Jason Weiland and Tina Anderson. Long is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive, if any, in the case.