The West

Not guilty plea to shooting death
David Liam Johnson. Picture: Supplied

Two men charged over the Swanbourne shooting death of David Liam Johnson have pleaded not guilty to murder with the 32-year-old's family shedding tears as they heard the case would be fought at trial.

Angus William John Ritchie, 23 and Alexander James Stephens, 23, appeared in the Stirling Gardens Magistrate's Court via videolink from Hakea Prison and entered pleas of not guilty.

Grieving relatives of Mr Johnson became emotional as the court heard the pair would challenge the charges laid over the death.

Co-accused Nathan Michael Beckton, 36, appeared in the same court via videolink but did not enter a plea.

Another accused, Edward James Dangla-Cruz, 23, who was charged with being an accessory to murder has previously pleaded guilty and is due for sentence in February.

It is alleged Mr Johnson, 32, knew his three accused killers and was involved in altercation with them at a Swanbourne house on March 8 where he was struck by a car.

He was then allegedly driven to a park and fatally shot.

Defence lawyers for the three accused killers have previously been waiting for forensic reports before pleas could be formally entered and any trial dates set, with the court told it would likely be a long and complex trial.

Mr Ritchie and Mr Stephens had their cases adjourned to March 10 in the Supreme Court with trial dates yet to be set.

The West Australian

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