Anthony Nichols didn’t speak a word Monday afternoon in Riley County District Court during an arraignment hearing for his first-degree murder case.
After a formal reading of the charge was waived, District Chief Judge Meryl Wilson entered a not guilty plea for the 34-year-old Kansas City man.
Nichols is accused of shooting but failing to kill 68-year-old John Burroughs of Manhattan on Sept. 6. Prosecutors have said that another man, 33-year-old James McKenith of Manhattan, stabbed and killed Burroughs later that night.
McKenith was sentenced in May to life in prison after pleading no contest in March to first-degree murder.
On Monday, Wilson scheduled a jury trial for Nichols to begin on Oct. 8.
Nichols’ attorney, Jeffrey Wicks, told Wilson to schedule the trial for only one day “until we can verify if it’s actually going to be a go.”
Nichols appeared for an arraignment hearing in Geary County District Court earlier Monday. In that case, Nichols faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 37-year-old Anthony Nixon of Junction City, who was found dead in Junction City during the early morning hours of Sept. 7.
No pleas were entered at that hearing because Wicks is seeking the dismissal of an aggravated robbery charge. Nichols also faces a criminal possession of a firearm charge in that case.
The Geary County arraignment hearing was continued to Aug. 11.