AUGUSTA — A 30-year-old Winslow man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to a charge of murder in the Dec. 4 shooting death of Justin V. Smith, 26, of China.

Matthew Partridge, accompanied by his defense attorneys Pamela Ames and Brad Grant, was arraigned in Kennebec County Superior Court on an indictment of intentional or knowing murder that had been handed up by a grand jury on Friday.

Partridge is accused of shooting Smith in the face with a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun around 11 p.m. after a brief altercation between two groups of men outside a pub in Waterville about 11 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Partridge has been held at Kennebec County jail since his arrest shortly after the shooting because he has been unable to make the $700,000 bail set earlier by Justice Michaela Murphy.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson asked that the amount of bail remain as set, and the judge agreed.

Murphy warned Partridge today that if he is convicted, he would be subject to a prison sentence of 25 years and none of that could be suspended. The maximum penalty, she said, is life in prison without parole.

Ames asked for a speedy trial for her client.

A handful of people came into the courtroom to watch the brief proceeding, and left almost immediately.