pleaded not guilty to charges in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Tuesday morning.
Jesse Lopez, 14, was fatally shot Dec. 11 on Hecker Pass.
David Moreno Sanchez, 19, and Alejandro Alexis Rodriguez, 18, face charges of murder, attempted murder and gang participation while Juan Soto Gonzalez, 22, and Carlos Valencia, 20, are accused of being accessories to the crime and gang participation.
"It's a serious and tragic case, and my heart goes out to everyone involved in this case," said attorney Peter Leeming, who is Valencia's attorney.
New details emerged in court Tuesday, the most significant of which was a fifth suspect.
Uriel Ortiz, appeared in court with the four codefendants. Ortiz, 18, was arrested with the other accused men in Santa Cruz hours after the fatal shooting. According to detectives, the five were allegedly throwing gang signs and intimidating people in front of the 7-Eleven on Laurel and Chestnut streets.
Ortiz, a Watsonville resident who is finishing high school in Santa Cruz, is not charged with crimes related to the homicide, though Assistant District Attorney Steve Moore, who is prosecuting the case, said "we believe he's significantly involved as a peripheral player."
Ortiz pleaded not guilty to fighting in public and battery. That charged stemmed from a jailhouse fight, according to statements made in court.
The men allegedly lured Jesse and his friend, also 14, from a quinceañera at the county fairgrounds and drove them up Highway 152 toward Hecker Pass. A second car followed and both vehicles stopped in a dirt turnout about four miles outside of Watsonville.
Jesse and his friend were hit with gunfire. Jesse was struck by multiple bullets and fell in the gravel on the side of the road. His friend was hit in the leg and ran to hide in the bushes until emergency personnel arrived.
Jesse died later at Watsonville Community Hospital.
His death has catalyzed the community against gang violence. Hundreds of people—many of them Jesse's peers—turned out for .
Neither detectives nor the District Attorney's Office have outlined who was in which vehicle or who fired the deadly shots. However, according to statements made in court, apparently the night of the shooting, Ortiz was in a car with Sanchez. Valencia's car drove Rodriguez up the mountain.
"It was his car that drove away from the scene," Moore said.
Leeming, Valencia's attorney, appealed to Judge Ariadne Symons to release his client with an electronic monitoring device.
"He is not charged with shooting anybody," Leeming said.
That request was denied because of his limited ties to the community—Valencia immigrated to the U.S. about four years ago, has a new job, possibly has a girlfriend and is Gonzalez's cousin, according to statements made in court.
The three men facing lesser charges—Valencia, Ortiz and Gonzalez—will be back in court Thursday for a bail reduction hearing. All five men will be in court Jan. 6 to set a date for the preliminary hearing.