A Princeton, Massachusetts, man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a Google executive who vanished during a jog last summer.
Angelo Colon-Ortiz, 31, entered the plea in Worcester Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Worcester Telegram, Colon-Ortiz is accused of strangling Vanessa Marcotte, 27, who was visiting her mother and disappeared during a run on August 7. The New York woman’s burned, naked body was recovered hours later in a wooded area not far from her mother’s Princeton home.
An autopsy determined that Marcotte died from asphyxia by strangulation. State police claimed that the victim sustained a broken nose fighting for her life in addition to “crushing injuries to the structures surrounding her throat,” the Boston Herald reported.
The married father of three allegedly told police that he didn’t know the victim. The 31-year-old has no criminal record.
Colon-Ortiz was arrested and charged with assault with intent to rape in April after authorities allegedly matched his DNA profile to samples taken from Marcotte’s hands. The Fed-Ex driver was indicted on first-degree murder charges on June 23, the Telegram also reported.
In court, Colon-Ortiz wore a headset and was assisted by a Spanish-speaking interpreter. Citing “identification issues,” defense attorney Edward Ryan Jr. successfully requested that his client places his “not guilty” plea from behind a door.
“In spite of what’s been reported, he stands innocent before the law, presumed to be innocent,” Ryan told reporters outside of the courtroom on Wednesday “and we intend to investigate the case and move forward with his defense.”
However, Judge Daniel Wrenn also accepted Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Travers’ request and ordered Colon-Ortiz be held without bail.
The accused is due back in court on August 24.
[Featured Image: Facebook]