ORLANDO, Fla. – A U.S. Marine charged in connection to a fatal downtown shooting that killed a U.S. Army veteran has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
Shaun Engram, 26, entered the plea early Monday during an arraignment at the Orange County Jail.
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The appearance before a judge came more than a month after Engram was arrested for the homicide of Joseph Torres, 34.
According to Orlando police, Torres and a friend were downtown when surveillance video showed he walked through a group of people “without any problem.” Once Torres approached the second group, investigators said Engram came off a wall he was leaning on and stopped him, telling him he couldn’t pass through there.
“Some words were exchanged, very minimum words were exchanged, this whole thing popped off in a matter of seconds,” Detective Teresa Sprague said.
Officers responded to the 20 block of North Orange Ave. around 2:30 a.m. May 2 after hearing gunshots and found Torres dead.
Police said Torres was shot four times, three of which struck him, while the fourth hit his cellphone.
According to investigators, the two men did not know each other before the encounter.
“They never saw each other until that moment when he stopped his progress and didn’t want him to walk through their group,” Sprague said.
During Monday’s arraignment, Engram’s case was scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Sept. 28. The trial period was scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.