A 38-year-old man charged with killing his 66-year-old roommate, whose body parts were found in Griffith Park, pleaded not guilty to murder in court Monday.
Gabriel Campos-Martinez appeared in criminal court in downtown Los Angeles for an arraignment hearing in the death of Hervey Coronado Medellin.
Medellin’s head was found by two women walking dogs near the Hollywood sign in the Los Angeles park in January 2012. His hands and feet were later found nearby by investigators.
Campos-Martinez allegedly killed Medellin on or about Dec. 27, 2011, according to court documents. He died from asphyxiation and the death was ruled a homicide, according to Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace.
A coroner’s spokesman told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that asphyxiation likely killed Medellin, but he noted that other injuries were unknown because not all of the victim’s was recovered.
The body was likely cut up with a saw, according to an autopsy report, the Times reported.
Medellin and Campos-Martinez had lived together for about six months, authorities said.
The motive was “due to the relationship” between the two men, Grace told the Times.
Campos-Martinez, whom police said had been a person of interest since the beginning of the case, was arrested March 7 in San Antonio, Texas.
Outside the courtroom Monday, Grace called it a “long investigation” by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, saying detectives had followed many leads.
“There was a lot of scientific evidence that came up just recently, including an autopsy report,” Grace said.
Campos-Martinez faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. He was due to return to court April 16.