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Man pleads innocent to murder, beheading

LYNDON, Kan. (AP) -- A former Topeka man suspected of killing a man by severing his head with a guitar string in 2011 pleaded innocent to murder.

After a hearing Monday, trial for 29-year-old Paul Harris was set for June 23. He's charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the death of James Gerety, who died in March or April of 2011.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Pdvdij ) Harris' girlfriend testified in March that he said he severed Gerety's head with a guitar string. A Topeka police officer testified that he was told Harris kept the head so he could talk to it as part of a voodoo ritual.

Gerety's partial remains were found a year later in the Osage County town of Carbondale.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com