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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – One of two brothers accused of killing a man at an illegal gambling den the siblings were allegedly running out of a San Diego residence pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.

Alfredo Montano, 32, is accused in the June 5 death of Sean Nixon, 44, who prosecutors say was strangled with a strap from a marijuana grow tent.

Montano and his brother, Glen, are both charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, making them eligible for the death penalty should prosecutors opt to seek capital punishment.

Glen Montano, 40, was arrested and arraigned last month. Jail records indicate Alfredo Montano was booked into custody Aug. 13.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly alleged the brothers were running the gambling den out of the garage of a home on Freed Manor Lane.

While there, Nixon attempted to take a fannypack containing money and was initially kicked out, but was later allowed back inside, the prosecutor said. Later that night, Reilly said alleged the brothers “launched a surprise, coordinated attack” on Nixon while the victim’s back was turned.

Glen Montano wrapped a grow tent strap around the victim’s neck, while Alfredo Montano struck Nixon multiple times and kicked him while he was being strangled, the prosecutor alleged.

Reilly said Nixon’s body was found in the garage the following day, placed inside the grow tent and wrapped in plastic.

Both brothers are being held without bail and due back in court Sept. 30.

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