Pair plead not guilty to Stevie Wonder extortion
FILE - In this May 9, 2012 file photo, Stevie Wonder performs during the "In Performance at the White House" in the East Room of the White House in Washington, honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Two people charged with extorting the singer pleaded not guilty Thursday July 26, 2012 and are due back in court in late August for a pretrial hearing. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two people charged with extorting Stevie Wonder have pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court.
District attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison says Alpha L. Walker and Tamara Diaz entered the pleas Thursday and will return to court in the future for a pretrial hearing.
It was the pair's first court appearance since a judge determined there was enough evidence for them to stand trial earlier this month.
Walker is Wonder's cousin and is accused of trying to extort the Grammy-winning musician over a video that portrays Wonder negatively. Walker and Diaz, his girlfriend, were arrested in May after receiving $10,000 from Wonder's attorney in a police sting.
Walker's attorney says his client simply made a movie about his life and his actions are protected by the First Amendment.