A Los Angeles judge has entered not guilty pleas for University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran on four felony counts arising from the death of lab assistant Sheri Sangji. The judge took the action at the 9 May arraignment after the defense declined to enter pleas, citing its intention to move for dismissal of the charges, reports Michael Torrice at Chemical & Engineering News.
Harran initially faced three felony charges based on regulations in California’s labor law that require a safe workplace, appropriate apparel and equipment, and adequate training for employees doing hazardous work. The District Attorney of Los Angeles County brought an additional charge based on a requirement to provide protection for body parts exposed to dangerous materials.
The judge ordered the parties to return to court on 27 June to determine their readiness to proceed to trial.