Suspected Riverside cop killer pleads not guilty

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

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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