LANCASTER — A Lancaster man pleaded not guilty Thursday to killing a convenience store clerk last year during a robbery.
Deonta Darrell Johnson Jr., also known as “Fat Boy,” is charged in the Feb. 19, 2018, shooting death of John Ruh.
Ruh, a 61-year-old former Marine, was working at the VP Fuels and Drive Thru Dairy convenience store at 44419 Division St. when he was slain inside in the business.
Ruh suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to the coroner’s office.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery, along with allegations that Johnson personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Prosecutors will decide later if they will seek the death penalty against the 22-year-old defendant, who is being held without bail.
Johnson allegedly walked into the convenience store with a 16-year-old male accomplice, approached the clerk, pulled out a gun, demanded money and then shot the clerk three times after Ruh closed the cash register, according to prosecutors.
The teenager allegedly with Johnson was charged with one count each of murder and attempted robbery in juvenile court, but the status of his case was not immediately clear.
Johnson is due back in a Lancaster court next month for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against him to move forward to trial.