gavel.jpgTwo men pleaded not guilty today to murder charges in connection with the fatal shooting of an Oakland man in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood last Friday.

Trumillion Ballard, 24, of San Francisco, and Anthony Pratt, 27, of Union City, were arrested Saturday on suspicion of shooting Gary Smith in the first block of Sixth Street at about 11:10 p.m. Friday.

Officers responded and found Smith on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ballard and Pratt made their initial appearance in court this afternoon and pleaded not guilty to charges including murder with the use of a firearm and conspiracy to commit murder.

According to the criminal complaint, which was read in court by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Cheng, Ballard allegedly fired a .40-caliber handgun to kill Smith.

Cheng ordered the two defendants held on $2 million bail. They will return to court on Aug. 3 for a status hearing in the case.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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