Not guilty pleas from 2 suspects in drug shooting that preceded airport lockdown

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The man whose alleged attempt to escape from police caused the busiest terminal at Sky Harbor International Airport to shut down for hours last month entered a plea of not guilty Monday morning.

Layron Dejarnette is due back in court for an initial pretrial conference on Nov. 24.

The Sept. 19 incident started with a drug deal in Tempe that ended in a shooting and sparked a high-speed chase. That chase ended at the airport where, according to police, Dejarnette, 25, and two other suspects, Louis Anthony Clark and Rosetta Salazar, ditched their car and tried to run.

Police quickly arrested Clark and Salazar, but Dejarnette got away, disappearing into Terminal 4.

The search for him spawned a lockdown that lasted about three hours. That search, which involved hundreds of officers, forced the cancellation of more than two dozen flights. Many more were delayed.

Officers eventually found Dejarnette hiding in a parking garage and arrested him on suspicion of reckless driving, conspiracy and unlawful flight from law enforcement.

Clark, who was booked on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct with a weapon, tampering with evidence, conspiracy, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and discharging a firearm in the city limits, entered his plea Monday morning, as well.

Like Dejarnette, Clark pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on Nov. 24.

While Dejarnette had an attorney appointed for him, Clark has a privately retained lawyer.

Both men are scheduled to appear before Commissioner Jerry Bernstein.