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12-Year-Old Charged With Murder Pleads Not Guilty

The pre-teen entered a denial Friday to juvenile charges of first degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony.

The 12-year-old boy charged with an Omaha, Nebraska, murder entered the equivalent of a not guilty plea during his first court appearance Friday.

The pre-teen entered a denial to juvenile charges of first degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony in connection with the June 29 shooting death of 31-year-old Jamymell Ray in North Omaha, said Douglas County deputy attorney Jim Masteller.

The boy's defense attorneys asked during his Friday detention hearing if he could stay at his mother's home with electronic monitoring, but a Douglas County judge ruled that he would be held at Douglas County Youth Center until his pre-trial hearing on July 21, Masteller told NBC News. The 12-year-old will also undergo a full-scale psychological evaluation, the judge ordered.

The judge said that the 12-year-old is a documented member of a local gang called Nike, Masteller said.

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He was arrested Tuesday in in Minneapolis, almost 400 miles away from Omaha, after his brother, Jamar Milton, 17, and Shuntayvious Primes-Willis, 15, were detained and charged in connection with Ray's murder. Both Milton and Primes-Willis are charged as adults, Masteller said.

Prosecutors say that the three met up with Ray and friend, Charles Fisher, to buy marijuana but ended up opening fire.

The 12-year-old's lawyers said Friday that he was not on the run while in Omaha, but rather on a pre-planned Fourth of July trip, according to NBC affiliate WOWT.

If the 12-year-old is found guilty of the two charges against him, he will be in custody of the juvenile court until he is 19 years old. His sentencing could include "out-of-home placements," but he will be released once he is an adult, Masteller said.