Evansville man enters not guilty plea in 3 deaths

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An Evansville man who admitted setting an apartment building fire that killed three people has pleaded not guilty to murder and arson charges.

Thirty-one-year-old Christopher Compton told Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman during Friday’s initial hearing that he was pleading not guilty to the three counts of murder and 10 counts of arson. Prosecutors had charged Compton on Thursday.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports Pigman told Compton a not guilty plea would be entered on his behalf and set his next court appearance for April 17.

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann is seeking a sentence of life without parole for Compton in Monday’s deaths of 3-year-old Jazmine Jones; her 28-year-old mother, Keri Jones; and 76-year-old Donald Lankford.

All three died of smoke inhalation in the same apartment.

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