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Suspect in Lily Burk case pleads not guilty to kidnapping and murder

August 18, 2009 |  9:54 am

A parolee accused of killing 17-year-old Los Angeles high school student Lily Burk pleaded not guilty today to kidnapping and murder charges.

Samuel Charles Samuel, 50, wearing yellow and blue jailhouse scrubs, stood with his head bowed facing away from reporters in the downtown courtroom.

His attorneys, deputy public defenders Lisa Roth and Steve Giedzinski, declined to comment on the case, saying they were awaiting documents from prosecutors.

Burk never returned to her Los Feliz home July 24 after running an errand for her mother at Southwestern Law School in the Mid-Wilshire area. That afternoon, she made two odd calls to her parents, asking how to use a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM.

Her body was discovered the next morning in her Volvo in a downtown parking lot. Her head had been beaten and her neck slashed.

Police said footage from surveillance cameras shows Samuel driving from the law school in Burk's car with the high school senior in the passenger seat, with Burk at a downtown ATM, and then abandoning the car in the parking lot where Burk's body was found.

-- Jack Leonard

Click to use The Times' interactive timeline on Samuel's arrests and convictions Use The Times' interactive timeline to see Charles Samuel's arrests and convictions dating back to 1979.

Photo: Charles Samuel during a court appearance in July. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times