Two men accused of gunning down radio and TV personality DJ Megatron in a botched robbery pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and other charges.
William Williams and Richard Cromwell were identified by witnesses and video surveillance from the scene of last month's killing, prosecutors said. Williams is accused of firing the fatal shot during a scuffle.
DJ Megatron was shot once in the chest while walking to a store near his Staten Island home on March 27.
The 32-year-old disc jockey, whose given name was Corey McGriff, worked on BET's "106 & Park" music countdown series, mainly in a role interacting with its live audience. He also did on-camera work for the show and BET's website.
Williams, 21, and Cromwell, 20, were arrested Wednesday on charges of murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.
Williams' lawyer, Mario Gallucci, said the case was a tragedy.
"It's a shame that such a rising star lost his life in such a tragic way," Gallucci said. "But we ask you, the public, not to rush to judgment about my client."
Cromwell's attorney didn't immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Thursday.
Police initially said they didn't believe the DJ's shooting death involved a robbery because nothing appeared to have been stolen from his body. Prosecutors said Thursday that Williams and Cromwell had stolen his wristwatch.
DJ Megatron rose to the on-air ranks after starting as an intern. He began his career at New York's WKRS-FM, better known as Kiss FM. He also worked at what was then Boston's Hot 97.7, or WBOT-FM, and at Philadelphia's The Beat, or WPHI-FM, according to a bio on his MySpace site.
He was a father of three and devoted time to charitable events on Staten Island, his manager said.