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Not guilty plea in beating death

Wed., May 19, 2010

A man accused of beating a man to death in the Dishman Hills Natural Area pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of first-degree murder with robbery.

Roland E. Benton II, 34, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court via video feed from the jail, where he’s been since May 5, when he was arrested for the murder of Douglas J. Klages, 46.

A Rosauers receipt found with Klages helped police identify Benton, who had left the store with Klages just hours before the April 30 homicide. Benton also reportedly told a friend he had done something that would be on “the national news,” according to court documents.

Benton’s public defender, Victoria Blumhurst, did not ask for a reduction in bond, which was set at $500,000 during his first court appearance May 6. His next court appearance is set for June 22.

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