Cheron Shelton left and Robert Thomas are escorted from the Allegheny County Police headquarters in Pittsburgh, Thursday, June 23, 2016. (AP Photo/File)

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A judge has denied defense motions to dismiss murder charges against two men in an ambush at a western Pennsylvania cookout that killed five adults and an unborn child.

Allegheny County prosecutors have said they plan to seek capital punishment if 29-year-old Cheron Shelton and 27-year-old Robert Thomas are convicted of first-degree murder in the March 2016 shootings in Wilkinsburg.

Police allege that Thomas opened fire on one side of the backyard, forcing the family to run to the other side, where authorities allege that Shelton began firing with an assault rifle.

WTAE-TV (http://bit.ly/2qdhDC2 ) reports that defense attorney Casey White argued Friday that no eyewitnesses have identified Thomas and prosecutors lack DNA and ballistics evidence.

Judge David Cashman denied the motions to dismiss.

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Information from: WTAE-TV, http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com

 

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