Tenant rights workers plead not guilty in Sixth Street slaying

Video still appearing to show Carlos Argueta waving a knife within moments of allegedly stabbing James Thomas on Sixth and Market streets Sept. 3, 2015 (Courtesy photo).

A pair of tenant rights workers charged with murder have both pleaded not guilty at their Tuesday morning arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court.

Carlos Argueta, a staff attorney at the Eviction Defense Collaborative, was charged with murder earlier this month alongside Pascal Krummenacher, an intern with the tenant rights organization, in the Mid-Market Street slaying of a 61-year-old man.

Argueta, 31, allegedly stabbed to death James Thomas during an altercation Sept. 3 on Sixth Street near Market Street, in the doorway of the Tu Lan Vietnamese restaurant.

The defense claims Argueta acted in self-defense when he allegedly stabbed Thomas. Krummenacher, 21, was with Argueta the night of the stabbing.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to murder alongside counts of second-degree robbery and receiving stolen property.

The altercation, caught on surveillance footage reviewed by the San Francisco Examiner, appears to have been over the theft of a bag.

It’s unclear who attempted to steal the bag. While the defense claims the defendants were the victims, prosecutors say they are the aggressors.

Argueta is held in County Jail on a preliminary $2 million bond. Krummenacher was released on $1 million with a GPS locator attached to his leg.

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