Federal prosecutors have charged a San Francisco man with murder in connection with the death of a 32-year-old victim whose body was found Nov. 12 at Crissy Field, according to authorities.
Leion Butler, 20, made an initial court appearance and pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting murder, officials said.
The criminal complaint alleges Butler is responsible for the death of a victim, identified by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office on Tuesday as Hamza Walupupu, 32, of Alameda County.
Emergency dispatchers received a call shortly after 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 12 about a person in the parking lot at 1199 East Beach St., a spokesperson for the San Francisco Fire Department said initially.
U.S. Park Police officers and firefighters responded to the parking lot, where Walupupu was declared dead at the scene with a single gunshot wound to the head.
Investigators linked Butler to the killing after reviewing surveillance video that captured a car associated with Walupupu leaving the park around the time of the shooting.
Three days later, the car was found abandoned in Hunters Point, and video surveillance showed a person, identified as Butler, parking the vehicle, wiping it down with “a clothing item or towel” and making several trips to another car that arrived, the criminal complaint stated.
Further investigation connected Butler to the second vehicle, and cellphone data allegedly placed him in the areas where Walupupu was killed and where the car was abandoned, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Butler was arrested on Monday.
Butler could face the death penalty or a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
A motive in the murder was still unclear Tuesday.
According to state records, Walupupu was licensed as a security guard in February 2019.
Butler’s next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss his detention status, according to federal prosecutors.