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122117 highley PX

Following the Dec. 21 preliminary hearing in Santa Maria Superior Court, defendant Jonathan David Highley was held to answer to the March 4 fatal shooting of Anthony "Tony" San Juan outside Elmer's bar in Orcutt. 

The man charged with fatally shooting Anthony "Tony" San Juan last year pleaded not guilty for the second time Wednesday morning and will return to court March 7 to set potential trial dates. 

Earlier this month, Jonathan David Highley, facing murder and two gun enhancements for his alleged role in the fatal shooting of San Juan on March 4 at Elmer's Bar in Orcutt, was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing. After a full day of testimony last month, Judge Gustavo Lavayen ruled there was enough evidence to hold Highley to answer to the charges. 

On Wednesday morning at the Santa Maria Superior Court, attorney Ronald Bobo, with the Public Defender's Office, stood in for his colleague Mark Owens and entered not guilty pleas for Highley and denied all special allegations during the re-arraignment on the information. The case comes back to court March 7 for a readiness and settlement conference.

Highley also entered a time waiver through the month of June for a speedy public jury trial. 

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Deputy District Attorney Anne Nudson is prosecuting the case. 

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210

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