gavel.jpgA 48-year-old San Francisco man pleaded not guilty to murder today for the 2008 death of his girlfriend, who died after falling from a third-story window as she tried to escape from him.

Eloy Muniz had a history of domestic violence against Cindy Weaver, according to prosecutors. On Oct. 3, 2008, during a dinner at a friend’s home in the 2700 block of Folsom Street, he allegedly threw a glass tumbler at her, head-butted her, and chased her into the bathroom, prosecutors said.

Weaver, 46, locked the door and tried to escape by climbing out the window, but fell. She died from her injuries 17 days later.

After a preliminary hearing, a San Francisco Superior Court judge on Nov. 3 held Muniz to answer on charges including murder, assault and false imprisonment.

Prosecutors are pursuing a second-degree murder conviction.

Muniz’s attorney, public defender Mark Iverson, argues the case is involuntary manslaughter and not murder.

He said today after Muniz’s arraignment that Muniz could not have known that his actions would cause Weaver to try to escape from the window. He added that Weaver had time to phone Muniz’s mother from inside the bathroom but did not call police.

Iverson has appealed the judge’s decision in November to hold Muniz for murder. He said the state Supreme Court is still considering the matter.

The case is currently set for trial in San Francisco Superior Court on May 7, but Iverson said that date may be postponed.

Muniz remains in custody without bail.

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