Suspect withholds trial plea

Brandon Spencer, a suspect in the Halloween shooting that occurred near the Ronald Tutor Campus Center and  left four wounded, chose to withhold a plea on Wednesday during his preliminary hearing, where he was charged with four counts of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

During the preliminary hearing, the judge determined there was enough evidence to proceed to an arraignment. Spencer’s arraignment will be held on March 28. If convicted of the crime, Spencer could face life in prison.

Spencer, 20 and a non-USC student, was charged on Nov. 5, 2012 with four counts of attempted murder after he allegedly opened fire at an on-campus Halloween party that was hosted by the Black Student Assembly and promoted by LA Hype.

Deputy District Attorney Antonella Nistorescu from the Hardcore Gang Division is prosecuting the case. Attorney James Simmons is defending Spencer. Though Spencer did not enter a plea on Wednesday, he pled not guilty during his November arraignment, the Daily Trojan  reported Nov. 5. His bail was set at $2.04 million.

Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested two men on the night of the incident, but Spencer was the only one charged.

Though several hundred students attended the party, there were only four reports of people suffering from wounds. Geno Hall, a former football player at Crenshaw High School, was among the victims seriously injured in the shooting. Spencer allegedly shot him after the two men got in a verbal dispute.

Spencer, a security guard, is a resident of the Inglewood neighborhood, the Daily Trojan. reported Nov. 5. Simmons said he was scheduled to begin a nursing and EMT program at UCLA on Nov. 6, 2012.

After the shooting incident, the administration changed its security policy at the beginning of the spring 2013 semester. Students are now required to sign in visitors and present their IDs when entering campus between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.