A Riverside woman accused of fatally bludgeoning her boyfriend as he slept pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree murder.

Teresa Louise Demar, 61, was arrested last month following a Riverside police investigation into the death of 55-year-old Artha Deal of Riverside.

Along with the murder count, Demar is facing with sentence-enhancing weapon and great bodily injury allegations.

She was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Emma Smith, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for May 30 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Demar is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to police, officers were called to the 9000 block of Hope Avenue about 7 a.m. March 31 to investigate reports of a deadly assault.

When the officers entered the home, they found the victim dead in his bed, suffering from recently inflicted wounds, investigators said.

Homicide detectives were summoned and determined that Deal had been struck over the head several times with a heavy object, though there was no mention of what kind.

A possible motive for the attack also was not disclosed.

According to police, Demar was detained at the scene and questioned, then later booked into jail. She has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

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