NEWARK — A man charged with killing three women and attempting to kill a fourth pleaded not guilty Monday.

An attorney entered the plea on behalf of Khalil Wheeler-Weaver.

A grand jury had indicted Wheeler-Weaver, 20, in the deaths and sexual assaults of the three women between September and November. The victims were 20-year-old New Jersey City University student Sarah Butler, of Montclair; 33-year-old Joanne Brown, of Newark; and 19-year-old Robin West, of Philadelphia.

Butler was reported missing Nov. 23, and her body was found buried under leaves and debris in a park in West Orange on Dec. 1. Brown was last seen Oct. 22 in Orange, and a work crew found her body Dec. 5 at a vacant house in Orange. Investigators said Wheeler-Weaver killed West on Sept. 1 and then set fire to the vacant house in Orange where he dumped her body.

Defense attorney Shevelle McPherson said in December the evidence against Wheeler-Weaver was circumstantial.

Wheeler-Weaver was charged in the deaths of Butler and Brown in December, and the grand jury in February accused him of killing West.

He also was charged with attempting to kill a 34-year-old woman in November. Investigators said she survived, was treated at a hospital and released.

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