Brian Surewood Enters Not Guilty Plea

VAN NUYS, Calif. - Adult performer Brian Surewood (aka Gilbert Brian Barnes) entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday to the eight counts against him stemming from a tragic road accident in Reseda that killed a five-year-old boy and critically injured the boy's mother and infant sister.

Barnes, 44, faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. His case has been set for an initial conference setting December 3.

Barnes was arraigned along with the other man involved in the accident, 19-year-old Armando Gaboa Ayon. KABC-TV described the accident as a "road rage dispute" in which Ayon's Maxima "plowed into the rear of a parked car, knocking it into a second parked car." The mother and her two children were standing in between the two parked vehicles. Several of Barnes' friends and colleagues from the adult industry were present at the arraignment.

Michael Fattorosi, one of three attorneys now representing Barnes, told AVN, "The case will be set probably in January for the preliminary hearing. And the preliminary hearing is basically a trial to determine whether or not there's sufficient evidence to hold the case over for actual trial. District Attorney [James] Falco will present his case, we'll present ours; the judge will determine whether there's sufficient evidence and facts to allow the counts to stand. The judge may dismiss certain counts at that point."

Fattorosi commented further that, "We're very early on in the game. We're just starting to get some of the information from the Los Angeles Police Department and the District Attorney's Office. We're looking to retain accident reconstruction experts to determine what actually did occur, and right now for anybody to make any kind of assumptions as to what occurred or what did not occur between Brian and the other driver would be speculation at best. There's been a certain rush to judgment made by LAPD, and we're just asking the general public and those people who are watching this case to reserve judgment, and to wait to hear all of the evidence."

One potentially crucial point in Barnes' defense verified by Fattorosi is that he does claim to have remained on the scene of the incident and called emergency services. "At this point, I can tell you yes, according to what I've been told by my client, he did stay and dialed 911," Fattorosi said.

Fattorosi has brought in the law firm of Jonathan Kissel and Peter Korn to handle the preliminary hearings and the trial. "Mr. Kissel has 30 years experience as a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, especially Van Nuys," Fattorosi said. "And Mr. Korn, who is his partner, has 14 years as a prosecutor in the Van Nuys Prosecutor's Office."

Barnes remains in jail, with a bail of $1.5 million.