Not guilty plea in tourist's death

September 5, 2008 5:26:23 AM PDT
A North Wildwood man has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the fatal stabbing of a Welsh good Samaritan tourist in Margate last year.

Robert Davies did not speak during his arraignment hearing Thursday and was returned to the Atlantic County Jail, where he was being held on $500,000 bail.

The 47-year-old Davies was indicted last month on charges of murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter and weapons offenses.

Prosecutors said Davies was fighting with another person when Lavern P. Ritch of Penarth, Wales, tried to intervene and was stabbed once in the chest. Ritch, who was not involved in the fight, died a short time later at a nearby hospital.

Authorities said Davies fled the scene and disposed of the knife, but turned himself in several days later.

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