Alberto Pinedas Contreras is to appear in Fayette District Court on April 1 for a preliminary hearing in the March 7 shooting of a 9-year-old boy, a judge ordered Monday.
District Judge T. Bruce Bell entered a not guilty plea in Contreras' behalf during arraignment Monday afternoon and referred the case to the public defender's office.
Contreras, 28, was returned to Lexington on Friday after waiving extradition in West Virginia, where he was arrested March 12.
He is charged with first-degree assault. The victim was riding in a car with his parents when the shooting occurred. Police have said that the boy, identified by friends only as "Antonio," was wounded in the neck.
Authorities have never released a motive in the case, but documents filed with the district court shed some light on what happened.
According to a complaint filed in court, the boy's mother, Tara Murillo, told police that she saw a man, later identified as Contreras, at her workplace before the shooting.
Murillo noticed a "suspicious white Nissan Maxima" parked near a trash bin and asked the driver to move the car, the complaint states. The man complied, but the complaint doesn't specify when that occurred.
The complaint says that an unnamed witness later noticed the Nissan following the Murillos' car along Russell Cave Road on March 7, and that the driver "shot a firearm multiple times at the Murillos' vehicle from inside his car."
At least one bullet struck the child, police have said.
Police later found a white Nissan that was registered to Contreras. During an interview, Contreras identified his car on surveillance footage, but he insisted that he wasn't present when the shooting occurred.
A search of the car turned up evidence "consistent with the assault," the complaint says.
It says Tara Murillo later identified Alberto Contreras in a photo lineup as the man she saw at her workplace and as the "sole individual associated with the vehicle during the time of the shooting."
Contreras is being held in the Fayette County jail.