Mark Cardilli Jr. Credit: Courtesy of the Portland Police

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland man charged in a fatal shooting last month has pleaded not guilty.

Twenty-four-year-old Mark Cardilli Jr. made a brief court appearance Tuesday. He’s charged with murder in the death of 22-year-old Isahak Muse. After the hearing, he was returned to the Cumberland County Jail, where he’s being held without bail.

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Police say Muse was shot during an altercation inside Cardilli’s home on March 16. Cardilli was arrested Friday evening after being indicted by a grand jury.

The delay in charges created tension in the city’s Muslim community. Some called it a hate crime by a white man against a black Muslim man.

[Portland man arrested for murder in shooting death]

But defense attorney Jon Gale told the Portland Press Herald that race played no role in the shooting. He said he’s disappointed the state pursued charges.

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