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Former NBA G League player Chance Comanche on Thursday pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and killing a Washington state woman in Las Vegas – months after police said he confessed and showed them where her body was buried.

The former Stockton Kings player and his ex-girlfriend Sakari Harnden were both charged by a grand jury earlier this month in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Harden’s friend Marayna Rodgers, court documents show.

Comanche, 27, and Harnden, 19, used a cord or another ligature to strangle Rodgers, the grand jury indictment alleges.

Both Comanche and Harnden on Thursday pleaded not guilty to all four charges against them, including murder with the use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree kidnapping with the use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

CNN has sought comment from Comanche’s and Harnden’s attorneys.

The plea comes after Comanche in December confessed to kidnapping and killing Rodgers with Harnden and then led detectives to where Rodgers’ body was buried, according to police.

Comanche and Harnden had been arrested and charged with kidnapping Rodgers, but police pursued murder charges against them after Rodgers’ remains were discovered, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. Comanche was arrested by the FBI in Sacramento, California, during practice at the Stockton Kings practice facility.

In an arrest warrant filed in Clark County District Court, police say the pair lured Rodgers to a secluded location under the guise of a prostitution deal. The pair then strangled Rodgers in Harnden’s vehicle before dumping her body in a ditch and covering her body with rocks, according to a court docket reviewed by CNN.

“Sakari and Chance began putting a plan together to lure Marayna away from her friends so they could kill her,” police said in the arrest warrant. “Chance and Sakari were unable to get someone to help with the murder, so they decided to carry out the murder themselves.”

Rodgers was reported missing on December 7, two days after she was last seen with friends and had arranged to meet with Harnden and Comanche, according to police. Investigators found Rodgers’ remains in a desert area of Henderson, about 20 miles southeast of Las Vegas, according to police.

Comanche told his ex-girlfriend in a text, “I can snap her neck or just strangle the bitch,” according to the warrant. In another message, he wrote, “If you get a nice little thick piece of rope or sum sturdy I can do it from the back seat. Like how killers do it in the movies.”

The Kings, an affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, announced December 15 that Comanche had been released from the team.

Read the full article here

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