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Local News in Brief : Laborer Enters Not Guilty Plea in Hammer Attack on Couple

August 12, 1988

A Granada Hills man who allegedly smashed a hammer into the heads of two teen-agers as they embraced on a street pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Rodolfo Aguero, 33, was charged with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury in the attack on Kelly McClure, 18, and her boyfriend Jack Utley, 16, said a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The couple attended Aguero's arraignment in wheelchairs, with their heads shaved because of their injuries.

McClure, of Granada Hills, and Utley, of Huntington Beach, were hugging while sitting on a curb at Index Street and Montgomery Avenue in Granada Hills about 8:30 p.m. on July 8 when they were attacked from behind, according to police reports.

McClure, who remains partially paralyzed, was struck twice on the head and Utley was struck once by a man who ran off, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Greller.

There appeared to be no motive for the attack.

"They were just sitting on the curb after going to a local store and this guy just walked up to them and hit them each in the head," Greller said.

Aguero, an unemployed laborer, was arrested five days later at the psychiatric ward at Olive View Medical Center in Van Nuys, where he was being treated for a psychological disorder, Greller said. Aguero said he was living with relatives in Granada Hills at the time of the attack, Greller said.

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