Teenage boys from Wolverhampton and Great Barr are to stand trial for murder after pleading not guilty to killing a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Birmingham.
The boys, aged 14 and 16, are among three teenagers and two men accused of murdering Dea-John Reid, who died in the Kingstanding area of the city on May 31 this year.
None of the juveniles can be identified because of their age.
The two alleged adult killers are Michael Shields, 35, and George Khan, 38.
Shields and Khan appeared in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, alongside one of the 14-year-old boys, where all three denied murder.
Because of Covid regulations only three defendants can appear in the dock, meaning the two other youths denied murder at a later hearing in the same courtroom.
Shields, of Alvis Walk, Castle Bromwich, and Khan, of Newstead Road, Birmingham, and the three teenagers are due to stand trial accused of the youngster’s murder on February 22 next year.
A further hearing will be held on November 1 and all five defendants were remanded in custody by Judge Paul Farrer QC.
Adjourning the second of the two hearings, the judge told two of the boys, who appeared in the dock in causal dress: “Because of the present pandemic this court can only have a maximum of three people in the dock.
“That is why you have come up separately and after the other three defendants.”