INDIANAPOLIS - A teenager accused in a deadly Fourth of July shooting downtown is pleading not guilty.
Eron Bonner, 18, made his first court appearance Monday morning to face charges in the death of Monquize Edwards, 16.
Prosecutors made it clear that they will come down hard on the gang-related element of the murder.
"It's not an enhancement we file often because of the proof elements," said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. "Often we believe a crime may have something to do with a gang, but rarely do we have what we believe to be direct evidence of it. It's not often filed, but when it is there is significant penalty."
Bonner is affiliated with the Eastside Gangster street gang.
Edwards was supposedly a member of the Homicide Goonz.
From the beginning of the investigation, Bonner was believed to be involved in the crime. Police released his photograph to generate leads.
He was eventually arrested and charged with murder with a criminal gang activity enhancement.
If Bonner is convicted and is sentenced to 60 years, that sentence would be doubled because of the gang activity enhancement.
Bonner has a public defender.
Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas