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Man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend pleads not guilty

Man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend pleads not guilty



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Courtney Orton reportingThe man who was found in Missouri with the body of his ex-girlfriend entered a not guilty plea in court today.

Michael Doyel is charged with kidnapping a woman whose body was found in the car he was driving.

Today's hearing was much different from the last time he was in court when he blurted out, "That's not true. It's a lie" and "She's alive. She should be here any minute."

Defense attorney Todd Utzinger said, "He's been in custody for quite awhile now. The discomfort of being in custody is sinking in, and the severity of the situation is coming to heart as we go forward."

In April, Doyel was arrested in Missouri. He was found with Patricia Murray, who had been missing for several days. The body of Deborah Jones was found stuffed inside a plastic container, in the car Doyel was driving.

Man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend pleads not guilty

He's charged with kidnapping Jones. He has not been charged with her death, although prosecutors say state murder charges could be filed within the next week or two. U.S. Attorney Carlos Esqueda said, "The fashion that this woman died, where she was placed, it makes it particularly egregious."

Prosecutors have not determined if the death penalty will be pursued in this case, a decision could be made by next week, but attorneys say it takes time. "You're talking about several police agencies involved including one in another state, so that's going to take additional time," Esqueda said.

Doyel's attorney says the charge does not warrant the death penalty because of what he knows about his client's mental health history. He cited at least one previous mental health hospitalization but would not elaborate further.

E-mail: corton@ksl.com

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