A Northern California man denies that he gunned down an on-duty Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputy.
David Machado pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a Modesto courtroom. He's charged with the first-degree murder of Deputy Dennis Wallace on Sunday.
Wallace reported to dispatchers that he spotted a parked van. When he learned it was stolen, the deputy requested backup. Fellow deputies found him shot twice in the head.
The charges make 37-year-old Machado eligible for a death sentence. Prosecutors, however, haven't said what punishment they'll seek.
Machado was free on bail at the time of the shooting. He remains in jail on the murder charge with no possibility of release on bail.
A public defender assigned to represent Machado did not immediately respond to a request for comment.