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Medford man pleads not guilty in Easter shooting

A Medford man accused of shooting and killing his friend on Easter Sunday was ordered held without bail Wednesday following his arraignment in Roxbury Municipal Court, officials said.

Yerri Perez, 21, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition in the March 31 shooting of Edward Villalona, 33, in Jamaica Plain.

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Perez is due back in court Sept. 27, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.

“He is quite confident he will be exonerated,” said attorney John H. Miller Jr., who represented Perez.

Perez was arrested Tuesday on a warrant based on a Boston police investigation in which detectives were able to identify him from surveillance images and cellphone records, a statement from prosecutors said.

According to Assistant District Attorney Daniel Mulhern, chief of the district attorney’s gang unit, Perez and Villalona had been friends. But during a confrontation just before 8:30 p.m. on Minden Street in March, Perez shot Villalona, the statement said.

Perez had been circling the area in a Ford Flex sport utility vehicle before the shooting, prosecutors said.

The next morning, a weapon was found in the playground of a day care center on Evergreen Street.

This investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call Boston police homicide detectives at 617-343-4470.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com.
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