A 20-year-old man accused of killing another man in a shooting that stemmed from a parking dispute in East Palo Alto in August pleaded not guilty to murder charges in San Mateo County Superior Court this morning. Dante Strauter was indicted by the San Mateo County grand jury on Sept. 21 for the Aug. 12 shooting death of 27-year-old Joel Terrance Long, Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.Strauter, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, is charged with one count of murder with the use of a firearm, and one count of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.He faces 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted, Guidotti said.The incident began around 3 p.m. Aug. 12 when two women got into an argument because one of the women wouldn’t move her car from a driveway at 2246 Ralmar Ave. to let the other back out, East Palo Alto police Capt. John Chalmers said.Eventually the woman moved her car, but then came back to the residence with Strauter, according to Chalmers.Long, who was with the other woman, got into an argument with Strauter, which developed into a fight. Chalmers said Strauter then went to his car as if to leave, and that Long followed Strauter and approached the car door.Strauter then allegedly pulled out a handgun. Long turned around to flee but Strauter then fired four rounds at Long, Chalmers said.Long was taken to a hospital where he died.Authorities arrested Strauter the next morning outside of his home in unincorporated San Jose.Guidotti said there was no preliminary hearing for Strauter due to the lack of witnesses willing to testify. Strauter remains in custody without bail. His trial date was set for March 22.
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