PHOENIX (AP) -- Nearly two years ago, a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot as he defended his younger sister from a man who police say had targeted them for an armed robbery.
Andrew Murphy was killed after he stepped in front of the robber to confront him after he had approached Murphy's 14-year-old sister with a demand for money, authorities said. The gunman ran away, threw his revolver under a vehicle and was arrested about a quarter mile away, police said.
The trial is scheduled to begin this week for 20-year-old Vincent Quimayousie on charges that he killed Murphy and made earlier armed robbery attempts at Marivue Park on Sept. 18, 2012. Jury selection had been scheduled for Monday, but it was pushed to Wednesday.
Quimayousie has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault. In a police interview, he acknowledged being near the park on the day of the killing, but he denied involvement in the crime, according to court records. If convicted of the murder charge, Quimayousie would face life in prison.
"We had to accept the fact that he is gone," said Dominic Murphy, father of the victim. "We had to dig deep into who we are as a family."
Amy Kalman, one of Quimayousie's attorneys, didn't return a call seeking comment Friday.
Quimayousie is also charged with trying to carry out other armed robbery attempts of people at the park just before he approached the Murphy siblings.
Andrew Murphy, who was at the park with his 14- and 11-year-old sisters, was shot twice and was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later.
Police said Quimayousie fled on foot and was seen banging on the door of a nearby house. When approached by officers, he threw a bandanna on the ground, pulled a gun out of his waistband, ducked behind a vehicle and was seen manipulating the firearm. He was arrested after a struggle with officers, police said.
Several witnesses couldn't positively identify Quimayousie because he was wearing a bandanna over his face during the crimes, prosecutors said. Still, at least two other people who were at the park were able to identify him.
Quimayousie's attorneys said in court records that their client's fingerprints weren't found on the weapon and that a defense expert will testify that there's no scientific proof that the gun found under the vehicle was the same firearm used to kill Murphy.
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