Man accused of shooting ATF agent in Back of the Yards pleads not guilty

CHICAGO — A Chicago man accused of shooting an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent has pleaded not guilty to assault charges.

Ernesto Godinez is charged in the shooting of the agent on May 4 while the agent was working a case with Chicago police. The victim was released from the hospital days later.

The 28-year-old Godinez entered his plea on Tuesday during a brief hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert. He was formally indicted last week on a single count of assaulting an ATF agent with a deadly weapon, a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors allege Godinez fired five rounds from the mouth of the gangway toward the agents down the block, striking the victim in the face.

Defense attorney Lawrence Hyman has ridiculed the evidence in court as flimsy.