Former city council candidate pleads not guilty on federal charges

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jorge Cornell and three other members of the Latin Kings entered not guilty pleas in federal court Tuesday morning.

The defendants are each accused of murder, racketeering and kidnapping, among other charges.  They will each remain in state prison without bond until their trial dates.

Defense attorneys said they won’t be ready for trial until late summer or early June.  They said government lawyers gave them 7,000 pages along with dozens of audio and video recordings that are part of the prosecutor’s case against them.

Reverend Nelson Johnson from the Beloved Community Center was at Tuesday’s arraignment hearing to show his support for Cornell and the other defendants.

“We are in support of them,” he said.  “Justice -- we want justice -- that’s all.”

More than a dozen other men are in prison without bond as they wait for their court date.

Authorities recently arrested a 14th defendant in the case in New York.  The suspect will be extradited to North Carolina to face charges.