SoCal man pleads not guilty in slaying of Australian tourist

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- A Southern California man accused of killing an Australian tourist last week during a fight at a San Francisco hotel in the Russian Hill neighborhood pleaded not guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter during an arraignment hearing.

Bail was set at $100,000 for David Murillo, 34, of Hesperia, in connection with the death of Matthew Bate, 33, of Australia's Woolner, Northern Territory, Australia.

Murillo, the father of two young daughters ages 4 and 7, wept in court during the proceedings. Mark Jacobs, his public defender, described his client as a kind man who would not intentionally harm anyone.

"He looks big and he's strong but he's really a gentle guy," Jacobs said. "He was weeping back there. He's very emotional right now."

Authorities say Bate got into an argument with two men that turned physical early Friday outside the da Vinci Villa Hotel, located in the 2500 block of Van Ness Avenue in the Russian Hill neighborhood. Bate suffered severe head trauma. He died at a local hospital. 

Police have not publicly disclosed what sparked the argument between the men. 

According to the testimony during the arraignment hearing, Murillo punched Bate, who struck his head when he fell down. Murillo returned to his room and went to sleep because he was unaware that Bate suffered a fatal injury.

Officers located and detained Murillo inside the hotel. Officials said Murillo was in the Bay Area working on a custom drapery project for another hotel, which is how he makes a living. 

KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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