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An Oakland man pleaded not guilty today to a charge that he murdered his longtime girlfriend near Lake Merritt in July by brutally beating her. Dominic Daniel, 27, was arrested at about 6:40 a.m. on July 31, shortly after police found his girlfriend, 33-year-old Tsega Tesfoy Tsegay, suffering from major head trauma in the 1500 block of Lakeside Drive. Tsegay was initially reported to be alive, unconscious and not breathing, but later died from the injuries, police said.
Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said it appears that the assault occurred during a domestic dispute. Oakland police Officer Randolph Brandwood said in a probable cause declaration filed in court that Daniel admitted to police that Tsegay “was his common-law wife whom he had assaulted, causing the injuries which caused her death.” Daniel has three prior felony convictions for false imprisonment by violence, the unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle and being an accessory after the fact to a crime. Daniel, who is being held without bail, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Oct. 29 for a pretrial hearing.
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