Two young men from Greenville charged in the Jan. 4 killing of a homeless man on the streets of Hollywood both pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom.

After the hearing, an attorney for one of the men said the killing may have been an act of self-defense, rather than a brazen homicide as initially reported.

Bail remained at $1 million each for Troy McVey, 22, and Colby Kronholm, 21, according to Greg Risling, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Both men are scheduled to return to court Feb. 9.

According to Los Angeles police, an off-duty officer saw the two young men smash the windows of several parked cars in the area of Hollywood and North Cahuenga boulevards just before midnight on Jan. 4 and then saw McVey shoot a man on the street multiple times. Several other people also witnessed the shooting.

Richard Joseph Miller, believed to be homeless, later died at a local hospital. He was 52.

Just before the shots were fired, witnesses heard one of the men involved say “give me my money,” according to Scott Masterson, a Los Angeles police detective investigating the case. Masterson had said last week that the killing may have been drug-related.

McVey and Kronholm were living out of McVey’s car when the shooting happened and had been in California only a few months, friends of the men said.

Arthur Lindars, a court-appointed attorney representing McVey, said after Wednesday’s hearing that he believes his client acted in self-defense.

“(Miller) wasn’t just an innocent victim,” Lindars said. “My understanding is that he and possibly another person may have tried to rob (McVey and Kronholm).”

Kronholm’s attorney, Chris Scherer from the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, could not be reached for comment.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Dean, the prosecutor who represented the state at Wednesday’s hearing, declined to comment on the case.

McVey and Kronholm, friends from Greenville, a small community on the southern tip of Moosehead Lake, moved to California last summer. McVey was a student at California Maritime Academy in Vallejo during the fall semester.

Both were athletes and honor students at Greenville High School and come from respected and well-known families in town.

McVey’s mother, Kelly MacFadyen, is principal of the high school, and his stepfather, Daniel MacFadyen, is an engineer and former manager at Big Squaw Mountain, a nearby ski resort. Reuters reported that Kelly MacFayden was in court for the hearing Wednesday.

Kronholm’s mother, Alicia, is the branch manager of a local bank and his father, Boyd, is the deputy superintendent of the youth prison in Charleston, an hour south of Greenville.

Both families have declined to comment, but friends of the two men said the charges against them don’t match their upbringings and personalities.

Lindars said his client’s mental state is “surprisingly good.”

“He understands that this is going to take a while,” the attorney said.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or:

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