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Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2003

Suspect pleads innocent in basement bodies case

December 13, 2003

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— A convicted killer who authorities say lured teenagers into his apartment with offers of alcohol and drugs pleaded not guilty Friday to strangling one of them and burying the body in a basement tomb of concrete.

David Maust told the judge he wanted to represent himself. A hearing on his request was scheduled for Dec. 19.

Maust, 49, was a tenant of the rundown apartment house where investigators this week unearthed the bodies of three teenagers who had been reported missing in recent months. Only one count of murder was filed against him while the investigation continues.

Maust, who has been in police custody since Tuesday, has a criminal record that includes a murder conviction for the death of a 15-year-old boy in Illinois, police said.

Lake County Coroner David Pastrick identified the remains found this week as those of Michael Dennis, 13; James Raganyi, 16; and Nick James, 19.

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