Man Pleads Not Guilty to Killing 70-Year-Old DWP Worker

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A young man accused of attacking a longtime Department of Water and Power employee in downtown Los Angeles after the 70- year-old victim had just finished his work day pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge.

Gerson Carrillo Torres, 23, is accused of punching Julius Rondez on July 2 as he walked down the street in the 400 block of East Temple Street.

The victim was knocked to the ground and hit his head on the pavement, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He died at a local hospital the next day.

Torres -- who police said was recognized from surveillance video -- was in the area of Third and Wall streets in downtown Los Angeles when LAPD officers detained him several days later.

He was subsequently charged July 15 with murder and could face a potential life prison term if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.

``Julius was the victim of a violent and senseless attack that occurred on July 2nd just after finishing work,'' LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said after his death. ``A member of the LADWP family for over 33 years, Julius ... had an impressive work ethic and drive that helped him succeed and overcome challenges.''

Rondez is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

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