Suspected Riverside cop killer pleads not guilty

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Steven Cuevas/KPCC

Authorities are seeking the death penalty against Earl Ellis Green in the murder of Riverside police officer Ryan Bonaminio

The man suspected of murdering a Riverside police officer last month is pleading “not guilty.” Suspect Earl Ellis Green was arraigned Thursday.

More than a dozen Riverside police officers and investigators attended the hearing. Green is charged with killing 27-year-old policeman Ryan Bonaminio after leaving the scene of a hit-and-run crash in a stolen truck.

Authorities say a witness saw Bonaminio chase Green on foot into a park. They say the witness watched Green hit Bonaminio with a hand weight, then shoot him at least twice with the officer’s own gun.

Investigators say they found Bonaminio’s semiautomatic pistol and other evidence during a search of Green’s home and other locations.

The murder charge comes with special circumstance allegations of killing a peace officer and committing murder to avoid arrest. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.

Green has an extensive criminal past that includes convictions for domestic abuse and car theft. A trial date could be set at Green’s next court hearing scheduled for February.

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