SAN JOSE -- Five reputed gang members charged in the brutal beating death of a 14-year-old boy on a Roosevelt Park basketball court pleaded not guilty Wednesday, a prosecutor said.
Following an indictment on murder and felony assault charges handed down last week by a Santa Clara County grand jury, Javier Lamas Hernandez, 21; Scott Michael Conway Jr., 19; Jacob Jimmie Lynch, 18; Joe Chavarria Jr., 31; and Clemente Salas, 16, each entered the not guilty pleas, according to Santa Clara County prosecutor Carlos Vega.
A tentative trial date has been set for late October.
Three other people, James Vincent Conklin, Ruben Becerra and Angel Garcia Lamas, also remain in custody and also face murder charges separate from the grand jury indictment.
Lynch, Salas, Conklin and Becerra were all juveniles when the assault occurred the evening of April 27, 2012. All are being charged as adults.
On the day he was attacked, Heriberto Reyes -- an eighth-grader at Bernal Intermediate School in South San Jose who was not in a gang -- was dropped off by his father at the park to play a game of pickup basketball at the park with family and friends.
When Heriberto and a friend walked onto the courts, they were confronted by several people who started pulling up the boy's shirt to look for gang tattoos, according to police reports.
"Then, despite Heriberto's protests that he was not affiliated with any gang, they savagely attacked him, stomping repeatedly on his head," according to a statement from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
Heriberto's brother rushed to his aid but was attacked and knocked unconscious. Others who tried to intervene were told they would also be assaulted if they got involved.
Heriberto died from massive head injuries three days later at Regional Medical Center.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez.