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Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Slaying of South L.A. Store Clerk

A man suspected in the fatal shooting of a mother of five at a discount store in South Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to murder charges on Tuesday.

Erik Atkinson Court

Murder suspect Erik Atkinson appears in court on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

Eric Atkinson, 31, allegedly shot and killed Martha Sanchez during a Sept. 17 robbery of the Happy Bargain 99-cent store in the 7400 block of Broadway in South Los Angeles, according the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.

Sanchez, who commuted from East Los Angeles and supported five children, was closing the discount store when an armed man entered.

Atkinson allegedly robbed the store, then shot several times as he ran out with some cash.

Sanchez, who did not appear to resist the robber, died at the scene, police said.

99-cent-store-clerk

Martha Sanchez was shot to death Sept. 17 during a robbery of the Happy Bargain 99-cent store in the 7400 block of Broadway in South Los Angeles. (Credit: family photo)

Atkinson has been charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance of robbery and personal use of a firearm, the DA’s office stated in a news release.

A preliminary hearing for Atkinson was scheduled for Nov. 25th.