The accused killer of a 2-year-old girl was arraigned Thursday on charges including first-degree murder and attempted murder in a courtroom featuring more security than usual.
Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of Anthony Ralph Chacon, 28, in Department 11 of Kern County Superior Court. Chacon, whose short-cut hair revealed several tattoos on his head as well as his chest, stood next to several deputies and was taken from the courtroom immediately following the proceedings.
Probation officers escorted the slain child's mother, Katie Wimbley, from the courtroom. Prosecutor Jim Simson said he couldn't go into details, but the threat level against Wimbley is being assessed.
"We're looking after her safety," he said.
Chacon is a Sureno gang member, Simson said, and one of the charges brought against him is participating in a criminal street gang.
Bakersfield police reported two groups of men were arguing April 30 in the 1200 block of Virginia Avenue when Chacon opened fire. A stray bullet struck and killed Ka-mya Robinson as she played outside with her twin sister.
Chacon went on the run and evaded capture until Sunday, when he was taken into custody by the Calexico Police Department, police said.
Chacon is being held without bail.