One of the suspects in the 2008 drug-related shooting death of an Arizona State University student was in court Thursday.
Court officials said Rory Gene Coriell, 29, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Maricopa County court on Thursday.
Chandler police said during a 5-year-old investigation, they identified Coriell and William Hayden Crawford, 27, as suspects in the death of 25-year-old Zachary Rowe whose body was found in his burning rented home in Chandler.
Late last month, Coriell and Crawford were arrested in Phoenix by the department's criminal apprehension unit and the U.S. Marshal's office and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of first-degree murder.
Firefighters found Rowe's body in the home on Gail Drive on Dec. 23, 2008.
Detectives said large amounts of illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia and weapons were inside the home. A sliding glass door in the back of the home was broken.
A witness said the suspects, who knew of Rowe, went to his home to burglarize it and as they approached the back door, Rowe's dog alerted Rowe who got a gun and fired shots at the suspects. One of the suspects fired back and hit Rowe. An autopsy showed Rowe died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Detectives believe the suspects later started a fire to hide the evidence.
Authorities said the suspects have violent criminal histories involving weapons.
Police said Rowe did not know the two suspects.
Rowe was a pre-law student at ASU.
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Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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