Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A Minnesota police officer charged in the slaying of a 32-year-old man in July pleaded not guilty Monday in a St. Paul courtroom.
Jeronimo Yanez, 28, entered his plea to second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm in Ramsey County District Court.
Yanez, a St. Anthony police officer, was charged Nov. 16 in the killing of Philando Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights on July 6. The officer, who is on leave from the department, is also accused of endangering Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter, who were in the car at the time.
Judge William Leary III set a preliminary hearing for April 3 and tentative trial date of May 30.
Earlier this month, the judge denied a defense request to dismiss the case.
Defense attorneys said Castile allegedly consumed marijuana and disobeyed police orders.
Prosecutors allege Yanez, who is Hispanic, acted unreasonably when he fired seven times on Castile, who is black.
Castile's friends appeared in court Monday.
The killing provoked protests and national attention after Reynolds live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.