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Bartender pleads not guilty to killing woman in Laguna Beach

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A 26-year-old man pleaded not guilty on Monday to beating and killing a woman with a fire extinguisher in Laguna Beach.

Dino Rojas-Moreno, a bartender from Laguna Hills, is accused of killing Tatum Goodwin, 27, on November 12 after she was found in the morning by a construction worker behind an old movie theater in the 200 block of Ocean Avenue. 

Rojas-Moreno was charged Friday with special circumstances murder during a kidnapping with a sentencing enhancement or the personal use of a deadly weapon. He was arrested on Wednesday and his bail is set at $1 million.

Authorities said Rojas-Moreno allegedly approached Goodwin in a parking around 1 a.m. and dragged her to an alley behind a movie theater currently under construction. This is where he allegedly beat her to death with the fire extinguisher, prosecutors said.  

When her body was found in the morning, a sandbag had been placed over her head.

The two worked in the same area, but it was unclear if Rojas-Moreno was working that evening. Sources say Rojas-Moreno worked at Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill. It's unclear if or how the two may have been acquainted.

Police found Tatum Goodwin's body in a back alley in downtown Laguna Beach. Tatum Goodwin

Goodwin was an assistant manager at Carmelita's restaurant in Laguna Beach near the corner of Broadway and Coast Highway. The restaurant staff organized a GoFundMe to benefit her family. A memorial with flowers and candles was also placed near the site where she was killed.

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