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PHOENIX -- A man accused of fatally stabbing another employee at a downtown Phoenix restaurant last month has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Maricopa County prosecutors said 23-year-old Javier Alonzo Romero entered his plea Thursday. His initial pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Romero was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and aggravated assault on a police officer.

Police said Romero tried to grab the gun of a police officer while being treated later at a hospital for cuts to his arm.

Romero is accused of attacking another kitchen worker at the Tilted Kilt on Nov. 25.

He and 26-year-old Miguel Angel Hernandez were stocking inventory before the restaurant opened that day.

The motive for the stabbing remains unclear.

Authorities said Hernandez was declared dead at the scene.

Associated Press,

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