LOS ANGELES — Federal prosecutors say two men have pleaded not guilty in the death of a U.S. Coast Guard petty officer who fell out of a boat the men rammed with their own wooden boat off the California coast.
U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek says the two Mexican nationals entered their pleas Friday to charges they killed a federal officer while he was on duty.
Jose Meija Leyva and Manuel Beltran Higuera were in a boat running without lights near the Channel Islands Dec. 2 when their boat rammed the inflatable boat with 34-year-old Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III and another officer aboard.
The 14-year coast guard veteran was struck in the head by a propeller and died.
Horne is survived by his wife and two sons.