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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Azusa : No-Contest Plea in Killing

March 08, 1992

A 17-year-old Azusa High School student accused of killing a fellow student, who died of injuries suffered during a campus fight, pleaded no contest Thursday in Pomona Juvenile Court to involuntary manslaughter.

Sergio Godinez, a senior and member of the school's varsity football team, was charged with manslaughter after Eric Crabtree, 16, died Jan. 18 two days after a fight with Godinez. Police said Godinez body-slammed Crabtree onto a concrete walkway, causing a severe head injury. The fight was preceded by an exchange of words between Crabtree and other students on the campus, officials said.

A no-contest plea, commonly filed to avoid civil liability, is considered equivalent to a guilty plea in the juvenile justice system, Deputy Dist. Atty. Roberta Schwartz said. Godinez remains in custody at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall and will be sentenced Friday . He could face up to four years in a California Youth Authority facility.

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