A Manhattan Beach teen-ager charged with murder and arson in connection with the May 23 fire deaths of three Redondo Beach residents pleaded not guilty Monday at his arraignment in Torrance Superior Court.
Ryan William Rickert, 18, a food server at the Dagwood Deli in Manhattan Beach, was charged with three counts of murder and one count of arson. He was being held at County Jail pending a bail hearing scheduled today.
No charges were filed against Bradey Kenneth Kruse, 19, of Hermosa Beach, who was arrested along with Rickert, because of insufficient evidence, according to a spokesman for the district attorney's office.
The fire, which was reported at 2:30 a.m. May 23, consumed the front apartment of a four-unit building at 1215 Beryl St. in Redondo Beach. Three tenants in the apartment, which did not have smoke alarms as required by a state law that took effect Jan. 1, were killed, and two others escaped.