Teen pleads not guilty of killing Maddy Middleton


A 15-year-old boy pleaded not guilty today to all charges he’s facing in the murder of 8-year-old Madyson “Maddy” Middleton at a Santa Cruz housing complex in July, prosecutors said.

Adrian Jerry Gonzalez appeared today in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, where he was arraigned on felony charges of murder, kidnapping to commit another crime, sexual penetration by a foreign object, two counts of forcible lewd acts on a child and forcible rape on a child under 14 years old.

The charges also include allegations of murder by lying in wait, causing great bodily injury and other sex crimes. Gonzalez has been charged as an adult in the case, prosecutors said.

Gonzalez is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 29.

Gonzalez allegedly killed Maddy on July 26 at the Tannery Arts Center’s housing complex at 1030 River St., where they both lived with their families, police said.

He allegedly lured her into his apartment, according to police.

Maddy was last seen around 5 p.m. that day riding her Razor scooter outside around the complex and was reported missing an hour later, police said.

Santa Cruz police officers, county sheriff’s deputies, FBI personnel and other agencies searched for Maddy until the night of July 27, when the girl’s body was found in a large recycling bin in a first-floor parking garage at the complex, according to police.

Investigators quickly detained Gonzalez, who lives in a unit above the garage, police said.

He was then arrested in connection with Maddy’s murder and booked into the county juvenile detention center, according to police.

An autopsy on Maddy showed she died from asphyxiation and stab wounds to her neck, sheriff’s officials said.

Public Defender Larry Biggam, who is representing Gonzalez, did not immediately return a call for comment today.

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