Suspect in boom box murder pleads not guilty 

A transient accused of murder for allegedly bludgeoning another man with a portable stereo inside a San Francisco fast-food restaurant earlier this month pleaded not guilty Monday in San Francisco Superior Court.

Edward Holloway, also known as Edward El, was arrested Jan. 17, a day after police and prosecutors say he attacked 38-year-old Matthew Adams with a boom box inside a Carl's Jr. restaurant at Seventh and Market streets in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood.

During the 1:30 a.m. attack, Adams fell to the floor and hit his head. He refused medical treatment at the scene but died several hours later.

Police and prosecutors said Holloway, 54, had a history of violent behavior and that the Jan. 16 attack on Adams was unprovoked. Holloway had been yelling at other customers in the restaurant prior to the alleged assault, police said.

Through his attorney, public defender Aleem Raja, Holloway on Monday pleaded not guilty to murder with the use of a deadly weapon.

Prosecutor Scot Clark said Holloway had been arrested several times in 2009, suggesting he "was spiraling downward."

Clark said Holloway had a "propensity for violence recently" and was a danger to the public.

Bail was set at $1 million.

According to the district attorney's office, Adams collapsed and hit his head on the floor after being struck with the stereo. He suffered a fractured skull and a ruptured artery in his head.

After the hearing, Raja said he was still reviewing evidence in the case but suggested there were "other factors that may have contributed to this man's death."

District attorney's office spokesman Brian Buckelew said the evidence suggests second-degree murder under the theory of implied malice, because the attack "was an act so inherently dangerous that it was reasonably foreseeable that the victim would die."

Much of the incident was witnessed by others inside the restaurant, and was recorded on surveillance video, according to the district attorney's office.

Holloway is due back in court Feb. 5.

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