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USC Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty To Four Counts Of Attempted Murder

Elizabeth Johnson |
November 5, 2012 | 3:49 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Spencer was charged Monday in the shooting, which wounded four people. (Joseph Chen)
Spencer was charged Monday in the shooting, which wounded four people. (Joseph Chen)
Brandon Spencer pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder after allegedly opening fire on four people at an on-campus USC Halloween party last week. Spencer, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday, was charged Monday and faces life in prison if convicted.

Court officials said bail was set at $2.04 million, and the initial hearing will take place in one month on Dec. 6.

Spencer's attorney, James Simmons, told reporters, "The allegations are just that, allegations. The charges are not facts.'' 

The judge granted Simmons request to bar media from the courtroom because coverage had "potential to taint identification.'' Simmons said Spencer was enrolled at UCLA, hoping to become an emergency medical technician in a program that was set to begin Monday. UCLA officials could not be immediately reached for confirmation.

The Oct. 31 shooting left four injured, including former Crenshaw High School football star Geno Hall, in what authorities say was a gang-related incident. Hall was critically wounded but is expected to survive. No USC students, faculty or staff were injured in the shooting. The other three victims were Mysson Downs, Thomas Richie and Davonte Smith.

READ MORE: USC Halloween Party Planner Critical Of Campus Police

The shooting occurred outside of a party sponsored by USC’s Black Student Association and promotion company LA HYPE, and the event may have been publicized to non-college students. Spencer was arrested shortly after the shooting occurred. He is a security guard with an active security guard license.

The event may lead to a university policy change to be announced later this week. Vice President of Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson told Neon Tommy that steps will be taken to crack down on open campus events.

READ MORE: USC Shooting: Officials Acknowledge Gaps In Monitoring Halloween Party

“We have to get a better handle on guests who come to our campus who may not even care about who we are or what we stand for or what we are trying to do,” Jackson said. “This current practice of encouraging anybody to come to USC needs to be minimized as much as possible.”

Follow Neon Tommy's coverage of the USC shooting here.

Reach Executive Producer Elizabeth Johnson here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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