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Former reality show contestant pleads not guilty in slaying of adult film actress

September 29, 2009 |  2:30 pm

Former reality TV show contestant Brian Randone, 45, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment today to charges of torturing and killing his girlfriend, Felicia Tang Lee.

Prosecutors allege that Randone, a Christian minister and contestant in the 2000 Fox pageant "America's Sexiest Bachelor," tortured then suffocated Lee in the home they shared in the 500 block of West Duarte Road in Monrovia.

Lee, 31, was pronounced dead on Sept. 11 after Randone called police to report that she was not breathing. He was arrested within hours and charged with her death four days later. Lee, a model and actress who had appeared in adult films, met Randone at a pool at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in April. Friends said they had been living together for about four months.

Though Judge Terry Smerling sealed photos of Lee's injuries at the arraignment, he said, "the photos, needless to say, are gruesome." Deputy Dist. Atty. Philip Wojdak said only that there were "innumerable injuries to Ms. Tang's body" caused by an unknown weapon. He added that bruising on Lee's body led investigators to believe she was suffocated against a hard surface, without a weapon.

Randone’s bail was set at $2 million, and his next court date is Oct. 9.

-- Anthony Pesce in Pasadena

Related:

The Homicide Report: Dispatch: 'She did not deserve to be beaten … she was a nice gal and she didn’t deserve it'

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