The man accused of beating a transient to death with a baseball bat in the Midway area had to be forcefully removed from his jail cell to make a court appearance Friday.
Christian Ewing is charged with murder in the Dec. 5 beating of a homeless man near the Old Town trolley station.
Gregory Freeman, 57, suffered trauma to his upper body and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries four days after the attack.
Ewing’s arraignment was scheduled for Thursday, but he refused to leave his jail cell.
Judge Joseph Brannigan rescheduled Ewing’s appearance for Friday afternoon, but Ewing again refused to cooperate with deputies.
Brannigan then ordered deputies to forcefully remove Ewing from his cell and transport him to the courthouse.
He was brought to court in a wheelchair, with both arms shackled to the sides of the chair. He looked disoriented but appeared to understand the proceedings. Brannigan ordered media not to show the defendant's face.
Ewing answered a few questions from the judge, who then entered a non-guilty plea on Ewing’s behalf.
Judge Brannigan also set Ewing’s bail at $1 million, as requested by deputy district attorney Brian Erickson.
In an interview after the arraignment, Erickson said he requested the increased bail because of the viciousness of the alleged murder and the threat Ewing would pose to public safety if released from custody.
Ewing faces a minimum of 27 years in prison, and a maximum life term if convicted of murder.
Ewing pleaded guilty to assault and resisting an officer after he jumped onto the stage during the Taylor Swift concert at Petco Park in 2015. He was sentenced to two years' probation.
At the time of his arrest in 2015, Ewing had an active warrant for a theft-related offense in Florida and had an assault-related offense in Georgia. He was previously convicted out-of-state of attempting to manufacture or manufacturing drugs in 2013.