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Suspects in deadly Kan. fire make court appearance

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Two Kansas State University students accused of setting a deadly fire have made their first court appearances.

Twenty-year-old Patrick Scahill and 19-year-old Virginia Griese are both held on $1 million bond on charges of first-degree felony and murder and aggravated arson. They charges stem from a Feb. 7 fire at an apartment building near campus that killed 34-year-old Vasanta Pallem, a postdoctoral researcher in chemical engineering.

WIBW-TV reports (http://bit.ly/XASr2c ) Griese and Scahill appeared Tuesday via camera hookups from jail before Riley County Judge William Malcolm.

Investigators have released little information about the fire or a possible motive, and no evidence was presented Tuesday. The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing March 22 for Griese and a status hearing March 12 for Scahill, who indicated he's preparing to hire a lawyer.