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Talarico pleads not guilty in Johnson murder

In a Palo Alto courtroom Friday, Nathan Talarico pleaded not guilty in the murder of 20-year-old Mountain View resident Jeffrey Johnson, who was shot to death during a drug deal near El Camino Real on Feb. 7.

Talarico, a 19-year-old Sunnyvale resident, was apprehended Feb. 22 in Mobile, Ala. He is one of several suspects believed to be at the scene of the crime that evening at the 700 block of Ehrhorn Avenue. Police say the killer approached Johnson's car, pointed a gun through the window with his face concealed, and fired into Johnson's chest.

Talarico is charged with murder and faces 25 years to life in prison. Whether or not he was the one who pulled the trigger is "up to the court to decide," prosecutors said.

Another suspect, 19-year-old Jose Alfredo Romero, had been arrested, but police later let him go due to lack of evidence.

Daniel DeBolt

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