One of the men charged in a Gainesville shooting June 5 pleaded not guilty in a Thursday arraignment.
Rodnie Maurice, Stokes, 27, also known as Rebel, is charged with felony murder relating to the death of Cedric Antonio Huff, 41, in the shooting off West Avenue. Stokes and co-defendant Leshan Tremiele Tanner, 42, of Gainesville, were indicted Sept. 23.
Tanner waived arraignment and pleaded not guilty Oct. 27.
Police said they believe the case is tied to an alleged drug deal between the victim and the defendants.
After allegedly attempting to purchase half of a pound of marijuana in Huff’s apartment, Stokes and Tanner are accused of shooting Huff with a 9 mm handgun and conspiring to rob him.
Gainesville police found 3.5 pounds of marijuana, along with scales and bags, inside Huff’s residence in a search. A shell casing for a 9 mm handgun were also located.
Together, Stokes and Tanner have been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, attempt to purchase marijuana and three counts of felony murder.
In addition, Stokes was charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and an additional felony murder count.
The additional felony murder count for Stokes arises from the alleged commission of armed robbery that led to the Huff’s death, according to the indictment.