Kevin Chang  /  AP
Eva Daley, 30, of Long Beach, Calif., attends her court arraignment Tuesday.
updated 7/18/2007 7:52:18 PM ET 2007-07-18T23:52:18

A mother charged with driving her 14-year-old son and six other juveniles to a skate park so they could attack another teenager pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder.

Police said Eva Daley knew her son and the others planned to kill Jose Cano when she drove them to the park June 26. Cano, 13, died of stab wounds. Police said he had previously been involved in a dispute with the youths.

An angry confrontation between supporters of Daley, 30, and of the slain boy broke out in the hallway outside the courtroom shortly after she entered her plea.

As people screamed at one another, one of Daley’s supporters punched a television news cameraman.

Daley, who was ordered held on $1 million bail, blew a kiss to her family and friends as she left the courtroom. She is to return Aug. 22 for a pretrial hearing.

About a dozen friends and relatives of the victim were in court, including Cano’s mother and a cousin, Samantha Maradiaga, 24, who wore a T-shirt with his picture on it.

Maradiaga disputed reports that her cousin was a gang member, although she acknowledged some of his friends were. In his neighborhood, Maradiaga said, it is impossible to avoid gangs.

“He was a good boy, and he wouldn’t go out to hurt anybody,” she said, adding his attackers had tormented him and other neighborhood boys repeatedly.

If convicted, Daley faces 25 years to life in prison plus an additional 10 years for committing murder as part of gang activity, said Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan.

The seven youths who allegedly attacked Cano also are in custody. Authorities have declined to release their names because they are minors, but Lonergan said they range in age from 14 to 17.

All seven were charged with murder with the special circumstance of committing murder in the furtherance of a gang.

Lonergan said a hearing will take place soon to determine whether they should be tried as adults.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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