Twenty-six-year-old Enrique Manuel Ortiz of Allentown entered the plea Monday in Lehigh County Court in the January 2012 shooting death of 22-year-old Hagos Mezgebo.
Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction and said they planned to seek the death penalty. They have speculated that the slaying may have been a case of mistaken identity, but First Deputy District Attorney Steven Luksa told The (Easton) Express-Times that he doesn't expect Ortiz to ever reveal why he shot the victim.
Officials said Mezgebo, of Tigray, Ethiopia, had spent 2 1/2 years in a refugee camp before coming to the United States. He was living and working in Allentown.