Richmond teen enters plea in slaying of 17-year-old

Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 @ 3:09 PM
Updated: Monday, July 14, 2014 @ 4:41 PM

A 16-year-old Richmond teen accused of murder in the May 18 beating death of 17-year-old Caleb Woosley, also of Richmond, has pleaded not guilty.

Michael Pruitt was arraigned Monday and ordered to be detained without bond. He has been formally charged as an adult.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Pruitt told police in an interview after his arrest that he and two other males were in an alley with Woosley and the beating was part of a planned attack.

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He said agreed to be "the lookout" while the others beat Woosley to death with baseball bats. Pruitt told police he could hear Woosley screaming and took off running from his post as lookout.

When investigators told Pruitt they have cell phone video in which he can be heard saying he picked up a baseball bat and hit Woosley and that the others hit the boy as many as 40 times, he said the video was an attempt to enhance his tough image because he was tired of being picked on.

Woosley's body was found in the 200 block alley between North 14th and North 15th streets. According to an autopsy, Woosley died of blunt force trauma and the manner of death was homicide.

According to the affidavit, Pruitt said he and the other two males targeted Woosley because they thought Woosley had sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl who was related to one of the two males.

Richmond police officials have said more arrests are expected.