The gunman accused of robbing and killing a father of two in the parking lot of a Burlington Coat Factory nearly two weeks ago pleaded not guilty to related charges Monday.
Derrick Eli Henderson, 30, pleaded not guilty to murder, robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon at his arraignment. Prosecutors said in court that Henderson held the gun and fired the fatal shot, killing victim Travis Lewis, 30.
He was one of three suspects arrested in connection with the fatal shooting. Kathryn Williams, 24, of San Diego, Teishia Miller-Johnson, 32, of San Diego were also arrested last Tuesday evening following a short pursuit.
The two have since pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery.
The homicide happened on Thursday, July 20 at approximately 6:47 p.m. in the parking lot of the Burlington Coat Factory on El Cajon Boulevard, police said.
La Mesa Police Department (LMPD) officers responded to a report of a verbal altercation in the parking lot. The caller reported seeing an argument and then hearing a gunshot, police said.
Lewis, a father of two, was seen collapsing in the parking lot, police said. Authorities later determined Lewis had been shot during a robbery.
Witnesses told police they saw two people run from the scene: a man and a woman.
On Tuesday evening, LMPD officers and San Diego police officers worked together to arrest Williams and Miller-Johnson in connection with the homicide.
Later that night, detectives arrested Henderson.
According to Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha, Henderson has been in trouble with the law before. Henderson was convicted in a 2006 robbery case.
"I don't know much about that case--I know he was convicted of armed robbery which was charged on the complaint as a felony prior," Trocha said.
His bail was set at $1.5 million.
"It's appropriate for the crimes and his criminal history," Trocha said, speaking of the bail amount.
Henderson, Williams, and Miller-Johnson as due back in court on Aug. 3.