LANCASTER (CNS) — A Kern County man pleaded not guilty tuesday to a murder charge stemming from the death of a man who was found gravely wounded in the parking lot of a Lancaster fast-food restaurant earlier this year.

Manuel Berryman, 39, of California City is charged in the Jan. 3 death of Frank Borsotti, who was discovered outside a Jack in the Box restaurant in the 43600 block of 10th Street West.

Sheriff’s deputies were sent around 12:45 p.m. that day to the parking lot of the restaurant to investigate a report of an assault, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“Upon the deputies’ arrival, they found the victim on the ground suffering from obvious trauma,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.

Borsotti, a 61-year-old Lancaster resident, died about five hours later at a hospital. His cause of death was blunt force head trauma, according to the Los Angeles

County Coroner’s Office.

Berryman was initially described by the sheriff’s department as being wanted for questioning. He was charged Feb. 13 with Borsotti’s killing, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

He turned himself over to the sheriff’s department about noon Feb. 19.

He has remained behind bars since then in lieu of $2 million bail, jail

records show.

Berryman is due back in a Lancaster courtroom May 21 for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.

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