gavel.jpgA 42-year-old San Francisco man pleaded not guilty today to murdering a homeless man inside a Mission District residential hotel earlier this week.

Roger Pacheco-Paz, who lived at the Prita Hotel at 2280 Mission St., is accused of bludgeoning Luis Montoya to death with a piece of metal rebar, according to prosecutors. The motive for the attack is unclear.

In San Francisco Superior Court this morning, Pacheco-Paz pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and denied the allegation he used a deadly weapon to commit the crime.

Pacheco-Paz remains in custody on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court June 17 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Police found Montoya in a pool of blood near the third-story stairwell of the hotel at about 6 a.m. Monday.

Montoya, who had been struck multiple times, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police initially believed Montoya had been stabbed due to the amount of blood at the scene, but later recovered the suspected murder weapon outside Pacheco-Paz’s window, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said Pacheco-Paz confessed to police about the attack, and to washing the rebar afterward.

According to police and prosecutors, Montoya often slept inside the building, and he and Pacheco-Paz had prior conflicts.

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