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Homeless pair plead not guilty in deadly crossbow attack

September 27, 2013|By Joseph Serna and Jason Wells

A transient who allegedly shot two men in Humboldt County with a crossbow -- one of them fatally -- pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and attempted murder.

Authorities say Phoenix Triton King, 21, used a crossbow on Sept. 8 to fatally shoot a 44-year-old man in the face and wound a 41-year-old man over the weekend. A 16-year-old girl also has pleaded not guilty to the same charges, the Times-Standard reported.

The pair were taken into custody Sept. 9 without incident by a SWAT unit after they were spotted by a helicopter in a brush-covered area in the Friends of Dunes nature center in Arcata, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department said.

The hunt for King and the girl began the day before after someone called 911 to report an injured man lying on the side of the road in an isolated stretch between Arcata Bay and the coast.

A second witness reported seeing two people ride away from the area on bicycles, then ditch them and run into the woods after being confronted, sheriff’s officials said.

During the search, deputies found the body of a 44-year-old man who had apparently been fatally shot in the face by an arrow. The body was found in a thicket of trees and bushes edging the coastline about 200 yards west of the wounded victim, officials said.

King and the girl allegedly attacked the victims because they believed the two men had stolen belongings from the transients' homeless camp, officials said.

King showed no emotion and hardly spoke during the brief court appearance, the Times-Standard reported.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @josephserna

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