A man charged with a brazen breakfast rush killing at a popular West Jefferson Street restaurant pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Monday.
Christopher "Little" Thompson, 31, allegedly shot down 29-year-old Gerardo Franchini in Louis' Family restaurant on a Saturday morning earlier this month.
Franchini was eating with his wife, Edna, and two children, ages 4 and 5, when Thompson opened fire and shot him "multiple times" in his head and body, according to prosecutors.
Thompson and a woman reportedly were in the restaurant earlier that morning and he and Franchini argued. Thompson walked out but allegedly returned about 20 minutes later with a .45-caliber pistol.
Franchini was taken from Louis' to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Franchini's wife and other witnesses reportedly picked Thompson out of a photo lineup and identified him as the triggerman. During a previous court appearance, Thompson claimed that not only was he never in the restaurant, but he is deathly afraid of guns.
"I'm scared," Thompson said during his bond hearing. "I got shot nine times. I don't want to see a gun."