"I have never heard anything but a not guilty plea on a murder case," San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said.
Two separate shootings on Jan. 23 took place at farms in Half Moon Bay over an alleged workplace dispute. Zhao was taken into custody "without incident" outside the San Mateo County Sheriff's coastside satellite office and allegedly had a semi-automatic weapon in the trunk of his car.
At the Feb. 16 court proceeding, Zhao also gave up his right to a speedy preliminary hearing and is being held without bail. The case was continued to May 3 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
Presiding Judge Elizabeth Lee on Feb. 10 granted the defense request for a gag order, precluding prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the defendant and the Sheriff's Office from discussing the facts of the case with the media.
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