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Craigslist slaying suspect arraigned in Boston

A former Boston medical student accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.
Craigslist Killing
Former Boston University medical student Philip Markoff stands during an April court appearance.Mark Garfinkel / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former Boston medical student pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he lured a masseuse he met through Craigslist to a Boston hotel, then bound her, beat her and shot her to death.

Philip Markoff firmly stated "not guilty" when asked how he pleaded to the seven charges including kidnapping, armed robbery and weapons violations, then stared straight ahead as prosecutors outlined their case during a brief arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court.

Markoff is charged in the April 14 fatal shooting of Julissa Brisman, 26, of New York City, and the April 10 armed robbery of Trisha Leffler, a 29-year-old Las Vegas prostitute, at another posh Boston hotel. Authorities say he used anonymous e-mail addresses and pre-paid cell phones to set up meetings with the women he met through Craigslist, where they had advertised in its "erotic services" category.

He was ordered held without bail pending trial at the brief hearing. His family refused comment after the hearing.

Prosecutors say Markoff left a trail linking him to the attacks including his fingerprints on the ties allegedly used to bind the women and on the identification used under another man's name to buy the 9 mm weapon that killed Brisman.

Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin said the weapon was found in a hollowed-out copy of Gray's Anatomy in the Quincy apartment Markoff shared with his then-fiancee, Megan McAllister. McAllister has since called off plans for their August wedding in New Jersey.

They also say Markoff was seen on surveillance video coming and going from the Boston hotels around the times of the attacks.

Prosecutors have not revealed a motive for the attacks. Markoff was arrested April 20 on Interstate 95 while driving with his fiancee to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

Markoff's attorney, John Salsberg, tried unsuccessfully to persuade the judge not to allow prosecutors to recite the evidence against Markoff, saying it was unnecessary since Markoff was not fighting for bail and that reciting the evidence against him would only serve to "poison" the potential jury pool for a future trial.

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