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PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The man accused of fatally stabbing another employee at a downtown Phoenix restaurant has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated assault.
Javier Alonzo Romero, 23, made his plea in court Thursday morning, Maricopa County court officials said.
The incident happened at Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery in downtown Phoenix on Nov. 25.
Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said fellow workers heard an argument between employees at the eatery on the upper level of the Phoenix CityScape development at 2 E. Jefferson St. just before 9 a.m.
Crump said evidence and witness statements led detectives to believe that Romero attacked the victim and then cut himself.
Police said Romero tried to grab the gun of a police officer while being treated later at a hospital for cuts to his arm.
The victim was identified as 26-year-old Miguel "Mike" Angel Hernandez.
Crump said the incident was contained to the kitchen area of the Tilted Kilt, but police didn't know what started the argument.
"It's another example of workplace violence and that concerns all of us," Crump said.
Crump said the workers were getting ready for the restaurant's opening when Hernandez was stabbed.
Police said Hernandez had worked at the restaurant since it opened about three years ago.
The Tilted Kilt released the following statement on Monday:
"Tilted Kilt is saddened by the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Phoenix Pub the morning of November 25th. We are grieving the loss of a valued long time employee. We are supporting the Phoenix Police Department in their ongoing death investigation. Out of respect for the families involved and our employees, the Downtown Pub will be closed until Friday morning, November 29th at 11:00 am. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. Additionally, Tilted Kilt is also working closely with our employees, offering grief counseling sessions as needed, as they deal with this tragic situation."
Romero's next court date is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2014.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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