Rhode Island man pleads not guilty in 2×4 killing

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A man accused of beating a Rhode Island junk-car dealer with a two-by-four over a deal gone wrong has pleaded not guilty to murder and felony assault.

WPRI-TV reports 48-year-old Daniel Lastarza was arraigned Wednesday in Superior Court.

Lastarza was indicted by a Providence County grand jury in the July death of 34-year-old Jonathan Stack outside a bar.

Police say Lastarza was trying to get back $400 he had paid for a truck that turned out not to belong to the seller. Authorities say the fight moved to a parking lot where others joined in.

Lastarza was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon over allegations he also hit another man with a board.

His lawyer says Lastarza was trying to protect a friend.

Lastarza is held without bail.
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Information from: WPRI-TV