MAYS LANDING — An Atlantic City man pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to the November fatal shooting of 10-year-old Micah Tennant.

Alvin Wyatt, 31, who is charged with murdering the boy at a Pleasantville High School football game, was shackled in an orange jumpsuit and sat swiveling back and forth during the brief arraignment before Judge Bernard E. DeLury Jr. in Atlantic County Superior Court.

His attorney, Stephen Funk, entered the plea after waiving a reading of the indictment. The five-count indictment handed down earlier this month included murder, two counts of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy said the charges on the indictment carry a potential sentence of life without parole.

“I wanted to put that on the record so the court is aware, so the defendant is aware,” Levy said. “And the initial offer is going to be life.”

Wyatt remained silent during the hearing but smiled at the handful of supporters in the gallery when he was escorted by a sheriff’s officer in and out of the courtroom. Several people sat behind Levy in the gallery, watching the proceedings, but left quickly after the hearing.

Wyatt’s next court appearance is a status conference scheduled for April 16.

Authorities say Wyatt opened fire during the Nov. 15 Pleasantville-Camden Central Jersey Group II semifinal in what officials called a targeted attack, but struck three people in the bleachers, including Micah, who died of his injuries less than a week later, an unnamed 15-year-old and 27-year-old Ibn Abdullah.

Abdullah was hospitalized after the shooting and was also charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and certain persons not permitted to possess a handgun, but has so far not appeared in court.

Three others charged the night of the fatal shooting — Vance Golden, 26, of Pleasantville, and Shahid Dixon, 27, and Michael Mack, 27, both of Atlantic City — also entered not guilty pleas during arraignments Thursday.

Prosecutors say Golden, Dixon, Mack and Tyrell Dorn, 28, of Atlantic City, left the game that night, throwing a gun out a car window while leading police on a chase to Atlantic City, where they were arrested.

A county grand jury handed down an indictment, separate from Wyatt’s but on the same day, charging them with unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to have weapons.

During the arraignments, defense attorneys requested that detention hearings be reopened after sharing an affidavit purported to be authored by Dorn claiming responsibility for the gun in the car, and saying the other men had no knowledge of it.

Assistant Prosecutor Edmund Mallqui-Burgos successfully argued against the request, adding the attorneys had not met the burden for it to be approved, and DeLury denied the attorneys’ applications.

Dorn is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 27, while Golden, Dixon and Mack are scheduled for status conferences March 5.

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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