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12-year-old pleads not guilty to killing homeless man

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 12-year-old boy accused of shooting and killing a 54-year-old homeless man in a Westside parking lot pleaded not guilty Tuesday in juvenile court.

Sharron Townsend is charged with murder in the death of Thomas Trent, who was found dead at a vacant business in the 7400 block of 103rd Street about 7:20 a.m. June 28. Police said Townsend shot Trent one time in the head.

Police said Townsend admitted to shooting Trent with a .22-caliber gun.

Investigators said Townsend and Trent did not know each other, and the killing appears to be random. Police said Trent was not robbed. Townsend did have one prior arrest on a burglary charge.

His next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.