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Accused Killer Of Oakland Tattoo Artist Pleads Not Guilty

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(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A 36-year-old carpenter pleaded not guilty Monday to a murder charge stemming from the fatal shooting of a tattoo artist in Oakland four years ago.

Michael R. Smith Jr. is charged in connection with the death of 45-year-old Montago Bey Joshua, of Hayward, who was shot in the 1000 block of MacArthur Boulevard at about 11:30 a.m. on July 30, 2010, and was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital about 40 minutes later.

Oakland police said Joshua apparently was in Oakland to visit friends when a gunman approached him, opened fire and then fled.

Oakland police Officer Michael Cardoza said in a probable cause statement that Smith “was positively identified by several witnesses as the person responsible for shooting and killing victim Montago Joshua.”

Smith was located and arrested in Oakland on March 12, according to police.

He is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Aug. 25 for a pretrial hearing.

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