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SAN DIEGO — A man accused of shooting an acquaintance in the head during an argument outside a home in La Mesa pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and gun charges.

Christopher James Artale, 40, was ordered held on $1.5 million bail in the death of 35-year-old Aldo Prado.

According to police, Artale was outside his home arguing with Prado about 4:45 p.m. last Sunday in the 4400 block of Glen Street when Prado brandished a knife and began vandalizing Artale’s vehicle.

Artale responded by producing a pistol and shooting Prado in the head, Lt. Chad Bell alleged. He said officers arrived to find the wounded National City resident lying in the street. Prado died of his injuries Tuesday night.

Officers found Artale in his nearby home the night of the shooting. Detectives questioned Artale before arresting him on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

Artale faces 35 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Valerie Ryan.

A bail review/readiness conference is set for Oct. 12, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 18.