CHICAGO (AP) — Two men have pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of a 15-year-old Chicago girl who performed at President Barack Obama’s inaugural festivities about a week before she died.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Ward and 20-year-old Kenneth Williams pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges including first-degree murder and attempted murder in the killing of Hadiya (hy-DEE’-uh) Pendleton.

Hadiya died after she was shot Jan. 29 in a park about a mile from Obama’s home on Chicago’s South Side.

Michelle Obama attended the girl’s funeral and Hadiya’s parents sat next to the first lady during the president’s State of the Union address. President Obama later came to Chicago to address gun violence.

Police say the girl was an innocent victim in a gang-related shooting.
Ward and Williams have been denied bond.

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