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Alleged Craigslist killer pleads not guilty

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The alleged "Craigslist killer" Philip Markoff has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a woman he allegedly met through Craigslist.

Apart from the 14 April murder of masseuse Julissa Brisman at the Copley Marriot, Markoff is also accused of the armed robbery of a Las Vegas prostitute on 10 April and assaulting and robbing a Rhode Island stripper two days after the murder. All three women are believed to have advertised their services on Craigslist.

The court heard that Markoff, a 22 year old from Boston, bought prepaid mobile phones in February and a handgun using someone else's driving licence. Police say they found four pairs of women's pants, the handgun, ammunition, cell phones, plastic ties and a laptop with evidence of communication with Brisman at the spotty medical student's apartment. Markoff also appeared to be visible in security camera footage leaving the hotel shortly after the attack.

Markoff's defence lawyers have accused police of leaking information which was likely to taint any jury.

He is unlikely to be tried before June 2010, AFP reports.

Craigslist has acted to reduce its dependence on ads for various erotic services. In March it claimed the crackdown had seen a 95 per cent fall in ads for erotic services. ®

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