sfpd_arrestcuffs.jpgA man who was found in possession of a debit card belonging to another man who was strangled in San Francisco’s Mission District last month is being charged with murder today.

Roland Pouncy, 42, was arrested after police found him with the ATM card of Richard Sprague, 47, who was discovered dead in the 100 block of Julian Avenue at about 7:45 a.m. Sunday February 19, police said.

Pouncy’s arrest near 16th and Mission streets came just nine hours after officers located Sprague’s body, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Crosby said at Pouncy’s arraignment February 23.

Police found Sprague after someone called police to report that a man had been lying in the street for more than an hour and hadn’t moved, police said. His cause of death was determined to be strangulation.

Pouncy was arraigned last month on a charge of receiving stolen property, but that charge was dismissed today by Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming, who said prosecutors would be charging Pouncy with murder and robbery.

Fleming said homicide inspectors would be arresting Pouncy on the new charges shortly after the hearing late this morning.

He said outside of court that DNA evidence in the case “supports that it was Mr. Pouncy that strangled” Sprague that morning.

Pouncy’s defense attorney, Stephen Rosen of the public defender’s office, said, “We will be ready to represent Mr. Pouncy and investigate any evidence there is.”

Pouncy will likely return to court Wednesday or Thursday to be arraigned on the new charges, Fleming said.

Dan McMenamin of Bay City News contributed significantly to this report

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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