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Man pleads not guilty in Las Vegas 1-punch murder case

FILE - In this May 10, 2017, file photo, James Beach, who is charged with murder in the death of Luis Campos, who died after being sucker punched outside the Vanguard Lounge, makes a court appearance at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. Beach pleaded not guilty to killing a California man with a single punch outside a downtown Las Vegas bar, and a judge set trial to begin Oct. 2, 2017. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 28-year-old ex-convict pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing a California man with a single punch outside a downtown Las Vegas bar.

James Michael Beach also is accused of threatening to harm a woman who identified him in to police.

He spoke in court only to enter his pleas to murder and intimidating a witness charges in the death of Luis Campos. Beach remains jailed on $350,000 bail.

Defense attorney Greg Knapp said outside court that he wants to check Campos’ medical records to see whether other conditions contributed to his death.

A judge set trial to start Oct. 2.

Police and prosecutors say surveillance video appears to show the 1:30 a.m. April 30 punch was unprovoked.

Campos, 45, was standing in line outside a lounge on Fremont Street when Beach stopped while walking past.

Police said Beach asked Campos what he was looking at, and then punched him.

Knapp has said the two men exchanged words, and that Beach didn’t intend for Campos to die.

Campos, a truck driver and father of five from the Los Angeles-area city of La Puente, had been in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. He never regained consciousness after falling to the sidewalk. He died at a hospital four days later.

Beach was released from Nevada state prison in September 2014 after serving more than four years for attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon in a November 2008 shooting that left a 19-year-old man wounded in the heart and another man wounded in the groin.

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