A man accused of killing a 17-year-old girl, whose burning body was found in a South Los Angeles street last year, and raping a woman in 2007 pleaded not guilty today to murder and other charges.
Damond Williams, 35, has been jailed in lieu of $1.33 million bail since his arrest Jan. 10.
Williams is charged with the Sept. 17 murder of Terrey Wright, as well as one count each of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, forcible rape, sodomy by force and forcible oral copulation in connection with the 2007 attack on a woman identified only as Patricia B.
The teen’s body was found on Grand Avenue just north of 94th Street.
Her mother, Selamawit Bean, said at the time of her daughter’s death that the attack was baffling.
“You couldn’t find a picture of her where she wasn’t smiling,” Bean said. “She wouldn’t kill a fly. It’s a very big puzzle.”
If convicted on all counts, Williams faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
He is due back in court on Feb. 19, when a date for his preliminary hearing is scheduled to be set.