Man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting of botanist
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — Court records show a man accused of killing a Navajo botanist has pleaded not guilty.
The Gallup Independent reports Gerald Richardson went before a Mohave County Superior Court judge Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to killing Jessica Orozco.
Richardson was arrested Nov. 15 and initially charged with second-degree murder. He was later indicted on manslaughter and will stand trial for the lesser charge.
Mohave County sheriff’s office spokesman Anita Mortensen says Orozco was attempting to enter the front door of a home just before midnight Oct. 27 when she was shot.
Richardson told police he was not expecting any company and fired a single gunshot at who he thought was an intruder.
Orozco was accompanied by two children, one of whom lived at the residence.
The case is scheduled to resume Dec. 26.