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Murder suspect pleads not guilty

The 20-year-old is accused of strangling a 13-year-old and leaving his body in a park in the Carrollwood area.

By Times Staff
Published February 7, 2006

TAMPA - Joshua Rosa, accused of murdering Logan Gate Village teen Stephen Tomlinson in December, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Monday.

Rosa, 20, is accused of strangling the 13-year-old to death and leaving his bloody, beaten body in the brush of Logan Gate Park in the Carrollwood area.

Rosa's next court date is April 5.

Judge Debra Behnke rescheduled Rosa's arraignment two weeks ago to give him time to hire a lawyer. Rosa's lawyer, Brian Gonzalez, represented him Monday.

Stephen and Rosa were neighbors and buddies, sometimes attending church together.

Stephen's father, Ron Tomlinson, who has vowed to attend every court date until the case is resolved, sat on the front row, less than 20 feet from Rosa.

Members of Rosa's family were there too.

Both families refused to comment, but a member of the Rosa family said: "Just keep praying. Keep us in your prayers."

[Last modified February 7, 2006, 03:41:25]

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