Basketballer in court for Aust man's death

Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

A young Los Angeles basketballer accused of the fatal hit-and-run death of Australian man Andrew Mallard on Sunset Boulevard has entered not guilty pleas during his latest court appearance.

Kristopher Smith's lawyer and prosecutors have been working on a potential plea deal to conclude the matter, but are yet to come to an agreement.

"We're still working on that plea agreement," LA deputy district attorney Kristopher Gay told AAP after Wednesday's proceedings in a downtown LA courtroom.

"That process is still happening."

Smith, 20, entered not guilty pleas to one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Mr Gay said it was possible a plea agreement could be announced at the next scheduled appearance on January 3.

Mr Mallard, a 56-year-old from Perth, was struck and killed while crossing Sunset Boulevard about 1.30am on April 18.

It was the final cruel blow Mr Mallard suffered in a tragic life.

Mr Mallard was wrongly imprisoned for 12 years for the 1994 death of Perth jeweller Pamela Lawrence.

His conviction was quashed by the High Court in 2005, he received a $A3.25 million ex-gratia payment and was in LA attempting to get on with his life when he was run over and left for dead on Sunset Blvd.

Prosecutors allege Smith, a guard on East LA College's basketball team, struck Mr Mallard, continued driving and surrendered to the LAPD five days later.