Maricopa man pleads not guilty in a homicide case

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) -- A Maricopa man accused of killing his girlfriend last month has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge.

Pinal County prosecutors say 21-year-old Miguel Tapia also was arraigned Friday on one count of tampering with physical evidence.

Maricopa police say the body of 43-year-old Holly Berry was found in the backyard of a home on May 16.

Police say the woman had injuries to her face, abdomen and arms and there was blood in the kitchen area leading to the yard.

They say the kitchen's tile floor was wet and appeared to have been recently washed with water.

Tapia was indicted by a Pinal County grand jury on May 28.

Prosecutors say a second-degree murder charge carries a sentencing range of 10 to 22 years in prison upon conviction.

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Man accused of killing girlfriend in Maricopa