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Man pleads not guilty to murder in Downtown motel slaying

Gavel (FILE)
Posted at 8:46 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 23:46:35-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A parolee from South Carolina who allegedly killed a man he was dating at a downtown San Diego motel pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.

Ryan Breeland, 41, is accused in the slaying of 32-year-old Kenneth Banks, who was found dead at around 11:15 a.m. June 9 at a motel on 10th Avenue.

Banks' body was discovered inside one of the motel's rooms when employees went inside to clean it, according to San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs.

The lieutenant said the victim was believed to have been staying with the man who rented the room -- Breeland -- and the two men appeared to be involved in a dating relationship.

Breeland was arrested and booked into county jail later that day.

In announcing Breeland's arrest last week, police did not release a suspected cause of Banks' death, but the criminal complaint alleges a knife was used in the killing.

The complaint also alleges the killing took place sometime between June 7 and June 9 and that Breeland has prior San Diego County convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.