Man pleads not guilty in death of Phoenix teenager

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Associated Press

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 31 at 11:42 AM

PHOENIX (AP) — A man charged in a suspicious house fire in Phoenix and the death of a teenage girl has pleaded not guilty.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 19-year-old Tashawn Trevon Cheatham (Tuh-shawn Tray-von Cheet-uhm) had his arraignment Thursday.

Cheatham was booked into jail Dec. 7 on a $1 million bond on suspicion of first-degree murder, arson and theft.

Phoenix firefighters found 13-year-old Briana Naylor with burns on her arms and legs in a bedroom Dec. 6, hours after her mother had reported her as a runaway. The teen later died at a hospital.

Police say Cheatham told them Naylor had asked him to kill her and he allegedly wrapped a sheet around her neck before setting fires inside the home.

He's also accused of stealing and trying to sell the family's dog.

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