Two men plead not guilty in the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, reports The Associated Press.
Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, entered not guilty pleas yesterday on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery in the January shooting death of Pendleton.
The slain teen was shot in a park about a mile away from President Barack Obama’s neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, only a week after participating in the president’s inaugural festivities.
Michelle Obama attended the young girl’s funeral in February and keeps in contact with the Pendleton family. President Obama addressed Pendleton’s murder in his State of the Union Address last month and later traveled to Chicago to discuss gun violence.
The First Lady will also be making her way back to the Windy City in April to address youth violence.
Authorities say Pendleton was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a gang-related shooting.
Ward and Williams have been denied bond.