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Northern Arizona man awaits trial in mom's death

TONALEA, Ariz. -- An Arizona man is awaiting trial on allegations of beating his mother to death and setting fire to her house on the Navajo Nation.

Lakin Jim Bennett has pleaded not guilty to arson and second-degree murder in the death of Mae Bedonie in early March.

He is scheduled to go to trial on the federal charges in June.

A Navajo police officer responding to a 911 call encountered Bennett after picking up his cousin near Tonalea. The cousin had reported that Bennett assaulted her and that another woman might be dead.

According to a criminal complaint, Bennett told the officer that he fatally beat his mother for "talking too much" and "burned the house down."

A medical examiner concluded that Bedonie died as a result of physical violence.

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