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Youth pleads not guilty to murder charge

James Anthony Mills, 17, of Kent, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in connection with a shooting death of a 16-year-old boy at a backyard barbecue May 22 in Auburn.  - Courtesy photo/Auburn Police Department
James Anthony Mills, 17, of Kent, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in connection with a shooting death of a 16-year-old boy at a backyard barbecue May 22 in Auburn.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Auburn Police Department

A 17-year-old Kent boy pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree murder in connection with a shooting death of a 16-year-old boy at a backyard barbecue May 22 in Auburn.

James Anthony Mills entered the plea at his arraignment at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. He is in the King County jail with bail set at $1 million, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors claim Mills shot and killed Adrian Wilson when Wilson confronted Mills about the gun that he had brought to the barbecue.

Mills returns to court at 1 p.m. June 20 when a judge could set a trial date or attorneys ask for more time to prepare the case.

Ian Goodhew, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s office, said Tuesday that without the five-year gun enhancement, the low end of Mills’ possible sentencing range would be 13.75 years in prison, and with the gun enhancement it is 18.75 years. At the maximum, Goodhew said, Mills is looking at 22 years without the gun enhancement and 27 years with it, if convicted.

Wilson's father, 46-year-old Gabriel Wilson pleaded not guilty last week to first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, for allegedly firing shots during the ensuing melee at the people he held responsible for the killing.

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