SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two men arrested in connection with the fatal beating of a disabled homeless man in San Francisco’s Financial District pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other felony charges.
Joseph Stull and David Peters, both 21, appeared together in court Wednesday morning in connection with the brutal beating death of Tai Lam, a 67-year-old homeless man, on Nov. 23, 2014.
Police said Lam was attacked twice by three people between 11 p.m. and midnight in the 100 block of Sutter Street as he slept on the ground in a sleeping bag.
Police said Lam, who weighed less than 100 pounds and stood around 5 feet 5 inches tall, did not provoke the suspects and appears to have been sleeping in an alleyway when they initially approached him and began the attack.
His body was not found until around 7 a.m. the next day.
A surveillance camera allegedly captured Stull, Peters and an unidentified third person as they smoked a cigarette on the steps to Crocker Galleria near Montgomery and Post streets shortly before the assaults, according to police. The attack itself was also caught on camera.
Detectives identified Stull, an Idaho resident, as a suspect and arrested him on Sept. 22 while he was already serving time for an unrelated crime in a jail in Kootenai County, Idaho, according to police.
Peters, a Stockton resident, was identified as a second suspect and arrested on Oct. 25.
Both have been charged with murder, second-degree robbery, inflicting injury on an elderly or dependent adult likely to cause great bodily injury, and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
Bail has been set at $5 million for each of them, according to jail records.
Both were ordered to return to court on Jan. 11 for a pre-hearing conference.
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