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Indian Casino Wine Country

The Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park.

A Lake County man pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court Wednesday morning to the involuntary manslaughter of a Santa Rosa man at the Graton Resort & Casino near Rohnert Park in September.

James Morgan Lewis Jr., 44, of Hidden Valley Lake, faces a preliminary hearing on Feb. 11. He also is charged with battery causing serious bodily injury and assault causing great bodily injury, brain injury or paralysis.

The victim, Dondiego Hermilo Andrade, 55, died three days after the confrontation that occurred outside the casino around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 15.

Sonoma County sheriff's officials said Andrade was with several men at the casino when an argument between the men and Lewis occurred after the men's Honda SUV door struck Lewis' truck.

During the argument, Lewis' girlfriend allegedly was pushed to the ground and Lewis was punched in the face. Lewis and his girlfriend did not request prosecution for the assault because they were not sure which man assaulted them, sheriff's Sgt. Brandon Cutting said.

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Deputies who responded to the incident left the scene, but returned 10 minutes later regarding another altercation, Cutting said.

Deputies learned Lewis saw Andrade, one of the men he believed was involved in the earlier assault, and shoved him backwards, causing Andrade to fall and hit his head, Cutting said.

Andrade was unresponsive and unconscious and he was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in critical condition, Cutting said.

Lewis initially was arrested for felony assault causing great bodily injury and was booked into Sonoma County Jail. He was released after posting a $35,000 bond, Cutting said.

After Andrade died, Lewis surrendered to the sheriff's office and was arrested for involuntary manslaughter and assault. He posted $50,000 bail and was released from jail.

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