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Teen accused in high school football player's shooting death pleads not guilty

19-year-old Chandler Zion Richardson was arraigned in court Friday in connection to Georgia football player Elijah DeWitt's murder.

ATLANTA — One of the teens accused in the shooting death of a Jefferson High School football star pleaded not guilty in court Friday morning.

19-year-old Chandler Zion Richardson was arraigned at 9 a.m. in connection to Elijah DeWitt's murder.

He pleaded not guilty to four charges: Felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was notified in court that if convicted on the four charges, he would face a maximum of two life sentences plus 25 additional years in prisoin.

RELATED: Grand jury indicts 2 teens accused in killing Jefferson High football player

The other teen charged in the killing of DeWitt, 18-year-old Kemare Bryan, previously also pleaded not guilty.

A Gwinnett judge denied bond for Bryan and Richardson last October because they were allegedly a flight risk. The two were arrested in South Carolina just a week after the shooting.

Credit: Anderson County Sheriff's Office
Chandler Zion Richardson
Credit: WXIA

More on the case  

DeWitt, 18, was shot and killed in the parking lot of Sugarloaf Mills Mall outside the Dave & Buster's in Lawrenceville on the night of Oct. 5, 2022.

The two teens accused in his killing: 19-year-old Chandler Zion Richardson and 18-year-old Kemare Bryan were previously indicted by a grand jury on one count of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

RELATED: Hundreds show up for beloved high school football star's visitation

DeWitt's mother said while her son was a giant on the football field at Jefferson High School, he was the most down-to-earth guy with dreams to play college football – a dream cut short by one senseless act.

Last year, hundreds honored the star football player remembering him as a "gentle giant" after his death. 

It seemed like nothing could stand in Elijah's way – Dawn said he already had a couple offers and was set to visit the University of Georgia. 

"He loved football, he was ready and willing to do whatever it takes to go D1, that was his ultimate goal," Dawn said. "He was very tender and he loved people. Elijah was the kindest soul."  

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