Man pleads not guilty to attacking NPS employee


by Associated Press

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 1:18 PM

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BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) -- A man accused of assaulting a National Park Service employee in southeastern Arizona last year has pleaded not guilty.

Gil Gaxiola entered his plea Monday in Cochise County Superior Court.

The 33-year-old Gaxiola was indicted in January on charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping and theft of means of transportation.

Park Service employee Karen Gonzales was found unconscious from head trauma in a picnic area restroom at Chiricahua National Monument last Aug. 28.

Authorities say the uniformed maintenance worker and longtime seasonal Park Service employee was struck with a large rock.

Gonzales' government vehicle was found hours later about 40 miles away in Douglas by tracking her cellphone, which was still inside.

Authorities say evidence found in the vehicle linked Gaxiola to the case.

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