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2nd man pleads not guilty to Massachusetts shooting deaths of woman and her 11-year-old daughter

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A man accused of fatally shooting a mother and daughter in Massachusetts as they were sitting in a parked SUV has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, nearly three weeks after he was arrested in California.

Dejan Belnavis, 27, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Friday in Worcester. He was arrested March 11 in San Diego in connection with the March 5 deaths of Chasity Nuñez, 27, and her daughter, Zella Nuñez, 11.

Belnavis faces a hearing May 2.

He is the second man to be charged in the deaths. Karel Mangual, 28, was arrested in Worcester on March 6 and has pleaded not guilty. He too is being held without bail and his next hearing is scheduled for April 12.

Police said in court documents that surveillance video shows “the victims parked in their vehicle and that two people walk up to the vehicle and start shooting.” Video also shows a car consistent with a witness description circling the area before the shooting and leaving afterward, the documents said. The vehicle was later found in Hartford, Connecticut.

Authorities have not released a potential motive for the killings or said whether there was any relationship between the men and the victims.

Chasity Nunez was a member of the Connecticut National Guard and worked as patient safety and clinical quality coordinator at MIT Healthcare Innovation, according to her obituary. She also had a younger daughter.

Zella Nunez was a sixth-grade student at Columbus Park School in Worcester who “wanted to dabble in everything from painting, singing, dancing to skating,” the obituary said.

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