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Teens plead not guilty in gang case

LAWRENCEVILLE - Three teenage girls arrested and charged with violating Lawrenceville's street gang terrorism and prevention ordinance pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Wednesday.

Asia Jemila Watson, 19, Virgilia Carlyle Gladney, 18 and Marquita Shaholony Gladney, 17, were the first people arrested and charged with violating the ordinance. According to a police report, the three were involved in a brief but violent fight in the Collins Hill Wal-Mart parking lot on May 16.

The fight left the victim with swelling, scrapes and lacerations to her face, arms and legs.

The girls affiliate themselves with a street gang known as ABG and the incident stemmed from an argument the victim had with another member of ABG, the report said.

A date has not yet been set for the girls' next court appearance, said Lawrenceville solicitor Zeb Meadow. But they should be notified by mail of their time to appear in court within the few weeks, a clerk of court said.

Prior to the city enacting its own ordinance May 7, Lawrenceville police had only been able to charge people with gang activity under a state law that required them to have committed a felony first.

Lawrenceville is one of three cities in Gwinnett County to pass an ordinance aimed at curbing gang activity. Snellville passed the first on April 9. Norcross recently passed its own ordinance June 4.

The girls could face a mandatory two months in jail if they are convicted of violating the city's ordinance.