prison.jpgOne of two men accused of a fatal shooting in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood last month pleaded not guilty to murder charges today, but the other man did not appear in court after apparently getting into a fight in jail, prosecutors said today.

James Earl Lee, 54, was shot shortly after 9:30 p.m. May 11 in the 1100 block of Turk Street near Laguna Street. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

A second victim, a 27-year-old woman, was also shot but survived, according to police.
Investigators eventually identified Kenneth Chappell, 33, and Curtis Cail, 20, as suspects in the shooting. The pair were brought to the San Francisco Hall of Justice for questioning May 25 and later placed under arrest, police said.

Chappell and Cail, both San Francisco residents, have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, along with other firearm-related offenses and gang enhancements, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Alex Bastian said.

They were both set to be arraigned today in San Francisco Superior Court but only Cail appeared in court, Bastian said.

Chappell had to undergo surgery after apparently getting into a fight in county jail and his arraignment was continued to June 18, Bastian said.

Cail pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and will return to court July 11 to set a date for a preliminary hearing, according to Bastian.

Both men remain in custody. Cail is being held in lieu of $5 million bail while Chappell is being held on $2 million bail.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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