PORT ORCHARD — A 17-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 6-year-old Bremerton neighbor girl has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated rape charges.
The Kitsap Sun reports that defense lawyer Roger Hunko has stipulated that his client, Gabriel Gaeta, is competent to stand trial. Gaeta entered his pleas Friday in Superior Court in Port Orchard. He has been charged as an adult.
Gaeta was arrested Aug. 9, nearly a week after Jenise Wright disappeared in her east Bremerton neighborhood. Her body was found in a muddy bog near her home. The girl and Gaeta lived in the same mobile-home park, and he was considered a family friend.
Judge Jennifer Forbes set trial for Dec. 22, but it’s likely that date will be pushed back. If convicted, Gaeta could face life in prison.