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Des Moines man pleads not guilty to murder of woman in Redondo

A 29-year-old Des Moines man pleaded not guilty Thursday in connection with the Nov. 5 shooting death of Jayme Thomas, 19, in the Redondo area of Des Moines.

Johnny Rourn pleaded not guilty in King County Superior Court in Kent to a charge of second-degree murder, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree assault for reportedly wounding a 24-year-old man during the shooting.

Rourn is scheduled to return to court Jan. 31 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case. He remains in the county jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent with bail set at $1 million.

Thomas died after being shot early in the morning Nov. 5 in the backseat of a vehicle in the 800 block of Redondo Way South. Witnesses reported that an argument and name calling occurred between two separate groups before the shooting. Two unidentified men started passing a gun around, then fired shots into a vehicle where Thomas sat, according to police. Rourn allegedly was upset about being called a name by friends of Thomas.

An autopsy report showed Thomas was shot twice in the back and once in the arm, according to charging papers.

Des Moines Police, with the assistance of Valley SWAT, arrested Rourn for investigation of homicide and assault Dec. 7 at his residence without incident.

Thomas was a 2011 graduate of Mount Rainier High School. She was studying at Highline Community College to become a nurse.

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