Suspects in Double Homicide of Teen Girls at Debs Park Plead Not Guilty

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Two suspected gang members accused in the October slayings of two teenage girls at Debs Park in Montecito Heights entered not guilty pleas in court Tuesday.

Gabriela Calzada, left, and Briana Gallegos are shown in photos posted to their respective Facebook pages in late September 2015.

Gabriela Calzada, left, and Briana Gallegos are shown in photos posted to their respective Facebook pages in late September 2015.

Jose Antonio Echeverria, 19, also known as "Klepto," and 17-year-old Dallas Stone Pineda, aka "Trippy,” were arrested in February after the bludgeoned bodies of Briana Nicole Gallegos, 17, and Gabriela Calzada, 19 were found on Oct. 28.

Calzada had also been shot, according to authorities.

Investigators said the two girls were killed the day before their bodies were discovered by a dog-walker near a hiking trail in the park.

They were apparently targeted in what has been described as a gang-motivated killing.

Detectives investigate in Debs Park, where two female bodies were discovered Oct. 28, 2015. One of the bodies has been blurred in this image. (Credit: KTLA)

Detectives investigate in Debs Park, where two female bodies were discovered Oct. 28, 2015. One of the bodies has been blurred in this image. (Credit: KTLA)

"This is a case that’s gang motivated," Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said when the arrests were announced in February. "These victims were brutally murdered. They were known to the suspects who committed the murder. They were also specifically targeted by those suspects."

Echeverria allegedly used a rifle to kill Calzada, according to a criminal complaint in the case.

Echeverria and Pineda were charged with two counts each of murder in the girls’ deaths. Their not guilty pleas were entered in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

News cameras were not allowed to record video of them.

The defendants were ordered to return to court June 1.

Echeverria has also been charged with attempted murder in an unrelated incident.

KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.

 

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