Teen accused of killing neighbor enters plea

Teenager pleads not guilty

Tracy Lehr, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 03:49 PM PDT Jul 23, 2013    UPDATED: 07:59 AM PDT Jul 24, 2013 
Erik Lopez
VENTURA, Calif. -

Erik Lopez entered a plea of not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and domestic violence charges Monday.

On July 3, witnesses said Lopez was arguing with the 19-year-old mother of his baby when he got in a car and hit the gas pedal in reverse.

Ventura police said the car backed into a neighbor's driveway on Halifax Court,  hit a mini-van, and then backed over and killed a 65-year-old neighbor.

Flowers now mark the spot where Verdena Owens died, pinned beneath the wreckage.

Owens' sister believes her sister heard the young couple with the baby arguing and went outside to help and call 911.

Owens leaves behind two grown children, grandchildren, and five adopted children.

Her husband and family plan to make sure the children are taken care of the way Owens would have wanted them to be.

His bail is set at $150,000 and he will return to court next month.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up for the tutor center at Mercy Ministries in El Rio, Post Office Box: 7483, Ventura, CA 93006