LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A parolee pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a capital murder charge in the shooting death of a clerk working at a 99-cent store near his South Los Angeles home.

Eric William Atkinson, 31, was charged Friday with one count of murder in the Sept. 17 shooting death of 39-year-old Martha Sanchez, who was killed while working alone in the Happy Bargain 99-cent store in the 7400 block of Broadway.

Atkinson was ordered to remain jailed without bail and is scheduled to be back in court Nov. 25 for a pre-trial hearing.

Police say witnesses saw Atkinson in the area about 30 minutes before the shooting.

Sanchez was shot several times even though she did not resist, police said. A customer called police after walking into the store and discovering Sanchez suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Sanchez, a married mother of five children ranging in age from 3 to 19, was working at the store to save money for her daughter to go to college.

Atkinson was initially arrested Oct. 9 by Los Angeles police. He had been in custody on a parole violation, a detective said.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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