Suspects plead not guilty in Potrero Hill murder over cell phone dispute 

A San Francisco boyfriend and girlfriend each pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Friday for their alleged involvement in murdering a man in The City’s Potrero Hill neighborhood Sunday night.

Antoine Grays, 29, and Toyia Taylor, 18, were arrested early Monday morning after a shooting that was reported at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday in the 900 block of Connecticut Street, according to police.

Sylvestri Brown, 33, of San Francisco, was pronounced dead after suffering a gunshot wound to the chest, police said.

Before getting shot, Brown was arguing outside with the two suspects over the use of a cell phone, police said. The argument escalated and Grays allegedly shot Brown.

“The suspect and the victim had an ongoing dispute that ended tragically,” police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said Monday.

But based on the police report, Grays was “not the aggressor,” said Tal Klement, the attorney representing Grays, outside Friday morning’s hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.

“The comments that the dispute was over a cell phone are a complete simplification of the facts,” Klement said.

Grays faces charges of committing willful and premeditated murder. One charge has a weapon enhancement, which says Grays fired a gun with the intention to kill.

Taylor faces four charges, including buying or owning stolen property, carrying a loaded firearm, and being an accessory to murder.

Prosecutor Braden Woods told a judge earlier this week that Taylor “was caught with the murder weapon.”

Grays and Taylor are scheduled to reappear in court again on April 5.

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