Richmond Church Shooting Suspect Delays Plea

| April 28, 2010

One of three suspects in a Valentine's Day shooting inside a Richmond church was in Contra Costa County Superior Court today for further arraignment, but his attorney delayed his plea entry so she could read court transcripts.

Marcel Buggs, an 18-year-old Richmond resident, was indicted April 16 on three counts of premeditated and deliberate attempted murder, one count of burglary and one count of being a member of a criminal street gang. He is also facing enhancements for the use of a gun, causing great bodily injury and being a gang member, Deputy District Attorney Harold Jewett said.

If convicted of all the charges, Buggs could face multiple life sentences.

The two other suspects, a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, both Richmond residents, were not charged in the indictment because they are juveniles. According to Jewett, a grand jury cannot charge a juvenile by indictment.

The shooting happened at about 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 inside the New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ at 2100 Roosevelt Ave.

Three males wearing black hooded sweatshirts entered the church and shot two brothers, ages 14 and 19, in front of about 100 people who were attending the service.

One brother was shot in the shoulder and the other in the leg.

Both survived, police said.

Jewett said multiple witnesses identified Buggs as the shooter. He also said that the shooting appears to have stemmed from an ongoing dispute between young men in north Richmond and young men in central Richmond.

Buggs may also have some mental health issues, Jewett said.

His family has said he is innocent.

Buggs is scheduled to return to court May 4 to enter a plea.

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Category: Church Security

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