A Marysville man pleaded not guilty Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court to amended charges in connection with the murder of a Bishop Blanchet High School freshman.
Erick N. Walker, 27, was charged with first-degree murder and four counts of committing a drive-by shooting.
Walker had previously been charged with second-degree murder in the case, but prosecutors believe he acted with premeditation and "extreme indifference to human life" when he shot into a group of teenaged girls walking along a road in Lake Stevens the night of June 1.
Molly Conley, 15, was struck in the neck by a bullet and killed.
According to court documents, the shooting was one of several that took place from Lake Stevens to Marysville within a period of several hours. The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab matched five bullets found at the scenes of those shootings to two Ruger Blackhawk handguns registered to Walker and found at his residence, prosecutors said.
While the bullet that killed Conley has not been recovered, Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe said his office has "overwhelming circumstantial evidence" that ties Walker to the homicide.
"We wouldn't have filed if we didn't think we had a reasonable chance of convicting him," Roe said Friday.
Walker remains held on $5 million bail.