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PHOENIX -- An Arizona man accused of killing his roommate and then burning the body has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Maricopa County prosecutors said 22-year-old Vrouyr Manoukian was arraigned Monday on second-degree murder charges. His next scheduled court date is July 31.

Manoukian was arrested earlier this month in connection with the death of 24-year-old Matthew McMasters.

Police said McMasters died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

The charred body of McMasters was found last July in the northwest Phoenix desert.

Authorities said the body was tied to the remains of a love seat and other furniture items.

Police said witnesses identified Manoukian's SUV leaving the scene of the fire and bloodstains were found inside the vehicle that were later matched to McMasters.

Associated Press,

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