Redwood City man ordered to stand trial for deadly beating at South San Francisco gym

REDWOOD CITY (BCN) - A man accused of beating a fellow gym member to death with a metal weight bar in a South San Francisco gym last September was ordered to stand trial for murder Monday, prosecutors said.

Kenneth Osako, 46, of South San Francisco, is accused of beating 43-year-old Diego Galindo of San Bruno to death inside the Bally Total Fitness gym at 180 El Camino Real.

Prosecutors allege that on Sept. 17 at about 9:30 p.m., Osako approached Galindo from behind and hit him three to four times in the head with the 18-inch steel bar used to hold weights.

He then allegedly dropped the bar and ran from the gym. Witnesses reported hearing no argument between the two before the attack, but there were reports that Galindo had jokingly asked Osako's girlfriend to take a ride on his motorcycle the day before, prosecutors said.

Osaka was arrested the next day. He pleaded not guilty to the murder charges last October.

His defense attorney, Steven Chase, said Tuesday that he does not dispute the attack happened but said he will argue during the jury trial that Osaka did not intend to kill Galindo.

"It was very unfortunate that he died, and of course Mr. Osaka was horrified by that," Chase said. "It was a tragedy, but it was not a first-degree murder or even a second-degree murder."

Osaka is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 24.