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Crossbow homicide suspect pleads not guilty, friends speak to News Channel 3

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EUREKA- The suspect accused of fatally shooting a man with a crossbow in Samoa entered a not guilty plea in court Thursday. Phoenix King, 20 faces two felony charges, one count for the murder of James John James and a second count of attempted murder of Matthew Lewis.  
 
After the proceeding News Channel 3 met with one of King’s friends who did not want to be identified on-camera but she said King and his alleged accomplice were in the process of saving up money to move out of state. She also said both suspects are harmless young adults who were defending themselves the day of the shooting,
 
"As someone who considers them to be my friends, I can vouch that both of them are exceptional people that would not hurt anyone unless they were directly threatened, or as an act of self defense,” she said.
 
On Sept. 8 the couple is accused of fatally shooting James with a crossbow and injuring Lewis. Deputies said an altercation occurred over stolen items from their camp in the Samoa dunes, but friends and family said the couple had their lives threatened before the attack occurred. 
 
Deputies have not responded to the allegations pending further investigation. King will be back in court on Nov. 13 for his preliminary hearing. His bail remains at $1.5 million.