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Teen pleads not guilty to murder in fatal shooting of 1-year-old

July 16, 2012 |  2:20 pm

A teenage suspect has pleaded not guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of 1-year-old Angel Mauro Cortez, shown in snapshot
A 15-year-old pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with a June shooting that killed a 1-year-old boy and injured his father in Watts.

Donald Ray Dokins, described by police as a Fudgetown Mafia Crips gang member, has been charged as an adult in the case. He is due back in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Compton on July 30, when a judge will schedule his preliminary hearing.

Authorities allege Dokins was the bicycle-riding suspect who fired multiple shots into a group of family members gathered outside a home in the 10500 block of Hickory Street the night of June 4. The baby, 14-month-old Angel Mauro Cortez Nava, was fatally shot in the stomach. His father, Mauro Cortez — who was holding his son when shots rang out — was struck in the shoulder.

The shooting sparked outrage in South Los Angeles and prompted a $100,000 reward offer for information leading to a suspect's arrest.

Dokins was identified as a suspect within days of Angel's death, according to a June 13 search warrant affidavit. He also is believed to be "a suspect in previous murders," according to court papers.

He was taken into custody June 27 after LAPD detectives obtained information linking him to the June 4 shooting, according to court documents and law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

Cortez, 21, had been wearing a purple shirt shortly before the shooting — a color identified with the neighborhood's Barrio Grape Street gang, a rival of the Fudgetown Mafia Crips.

LAPD officials have stressed that Cortez is not a gang member and that they do not believe the shirt played a direct role in the shooting.


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Photo: LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon holds up a picture of murdered 1-year-old Angel Mauro Cortez during a news conference last month. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times.