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Woman accused of beloved restaurant owner's murder pleads not guilty

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Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 03:41:38-05

The woman accused of killing an East Side restaurant owner in July pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday.

Shanita Chapman, 29, was found near Cleveland and charged with the murder of Upendra Bawa, owner and operator of the Taste of Life restaurant for more than twenty years.

Chapman was charged with two counts of second degree murder and first degree robbery.

Bawa was found dead above his apartment on Sycamore Street from blunt force trauma in July.

Officials say Chapman was connected to the robbery and beating death of Bawa.  If convicted Chapman faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

According to District Attorney Michael Flaherty, Chapman may not have committed the murder, but may have contributed to the planning and execution. Two accomplices are also expected to be charged.

Chapman is being held without bail.