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Accused shooters of NYC hoops star Tayshana Murphy plead not guilty

Robert Cartagena (left) and Tyshawn Brockington (right), suspects in the shooting death of a New York City high school basketball star, were arrested in South Carolina, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011.
AP Photo/Richland County (S.C.) Detention Center
Robert Cartagena (left) and Tyshawn Brockington
AP Photo/Richland County, S.C. Detention Center

(CNS/WCBS/AP) NEW YORK - Two suspects have pleaded not guilty to charges in connection to the fatal shooting of high school basketball star Tayshana Murphy in her Harlem apartment building.

Tyshawn Brockington, 21, and Robert Cartagena, 21, are charged with second-degree murder in the death of the 18-year-old Murphy.

Murphy, a senior at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, was shot in the head in the Grant Houses in Morningside Heights.

The two suspects were arraigned in Manhattan state Supreme Court on Tuesday and are being held without bail. They are due back in court Dec. 20.

According to CBS station WCBS, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said after the arraignment, "This senseless death is an example of what guns have taken from our communities. The Harlem community has tragically lost a young woman and promising athlete."

Murphy, known as "chicken" at home and on the court, was considered one of the top girls basketball players in the city. She was also ranked as the 16th best point guard in the nation for her class by ESPN.

Brockingon's lawyer, Daniel Parker, said his next step will be to review the evidence including security videos, WCBS reports.

Cartagena's lawyer, Daniel Gotlin, said his client "says he didn't do this and he intends to fight the case."

A third defendant, Terique Collins, 24, is charged with providing the gun to Brockington and Cartagena. Collins has also pleaded not guilty.

Complete coverage of Tayshana Murphy on Crimesider