gavel.jpgTwo men accused in the fatal shooting of a Los Angeles-area man who was allegedly pimping a teenage girl pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a San Francisco courtroom this afternoon.

Antonio Gilton and Alfonso Williams were arrested Wednesday in connection with the killing of Calvin Sneed, 22, of Compton, who was shot shortly before 2 a.m. on June 4 near Meade and Le Conte avenues in San Francisco’s Bayview District, prosecutors said.

Gilton and Williams pleaded not guilty today to charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and various firearm allegations.

Sneed was allegedly pimping a 17-year-old girl whose parents, Lupe Mercado, 37, and Barry Gilton, 38, have also been arrested and charged with his murder. The longtime couple pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 22.

Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman said he plans to join the four defendants together in one case. They are each being held in lieu of $2 million bail and are all scheduled to return to court on July 12.

According to the criminal complaint against Williams and Antonio Gilton, the pair allegedly met up with Barry Gilton in the 1400 block of Grove Street early the morning of June 4.

Prosecutors said in the complaint that Williams then retrieved a handgun from a Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and that the trio drove in a Hyundai Tucson to the Bayview District where they waited for Sneed on Meade Avenue.

They then allegedly drove alongside Sneed’s car and Barry Gilton shot him in the head, according to the complaint. Sneed crashed into a parked car and died at a hospital later that morning.

Sangeeta Sinha, the attorney representing Antonio Gilton, said her client is Barry Gilton’s cousin.

“He’s an innocent man, and we look forward to fighting the case,” Sinha said.

Williams’ attorney Michael Gaines declined to comment outside of court.

Mercado’s attorney, Tony Tamburello, also attended the hearing and told reporters outside the courtroom that his client is not responsible for Sneed’s death, citing the absence of Mercado’s name in the complaint against Williams and Antonio Gilton.

“When it’s all said and done, people will understand my client is a mother who was concerned about … the danger her daughter was in, but she did not commit murder or conspire to commit murder,” Tamburello said.

“My client’s daughter was in danger by this particular pimp who was taking her back and putting her back into the life,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Prosecutors have previously alleged that Mercado and Barry Gilton traveled to Southern California and, on May 27, found Sneed in North Hollywood where Gilton fired a 9mm handgun at him.

Sneed survived that shooting but then died in the June 4 shooting after traveling back up to San Francisco to try to get the teen, prosecutors said.

Barry Gilton’s attorney, Eric Safire, was not immediately available to speak today, but has previously asserted that his client is innocent and that Sneed’s ties to a Los Angeles-area gang may have been a motive for someone else to shoot him.

Gilton works as a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus operator and grew up in the city’s Western Addition neighborhood before moving to the Bayview, according to Safire.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!