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Man indicted, arraigned in girlfriend’s beating death

A Buffalo man pleaded not guilty Friday in Erie County Court to second-degree murder in the beating death of his girlfriend last month in their apartment on Dodge Street.

Robert Smith, 52, was arraigned on the murder charge in front of Judge Kenneth W. Case who remanded him to the Erie County Holding Center without bail.

Smith was arrested March 6, a day after Diane Demps, 53, was found dead in her bedroom by a relative.

Police said the victim was beaten to death following an argument.

If convicted, Smith faces a prison sentence of at least 15 years to life and at most 25 years to life, according to District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.

Smith’s attorney, Paul G. Dell, said his client was recently sentenced to one year in jail for violating his probation in connection with a 2012 attempted burglary conviction.