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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | EL RIO

Teenager Pleads Not Guilty in Stabbings

March 12, 1998|TRACY WILSON

A former Rio Mesa High School student pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault charges in the wake of a brazen attack on the school's campus earlier this week.

Eric Padilla, 18, is accused of stabbing two students, ages 14 and 16, during a noon-hour clash Monday that sent school officials scrambling to increase campus security.

Padilla pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault with a deadly weapon during an arraignment Wednesday in Ventura County Municipal Court. He also denied allegations that the attack was gang-related, prosecutors said.

Padilla, an Oxnard resident, is being held on $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for March 24.

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