Miguel Daniel Tapia was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of a 43-year-old woman in Maricopa on Sunday. (Source: Maricopa Police Department)
MARICOPA, AZ (CBS5) -
A 21-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend in Maricopa last month pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Pinal County Superior Court on Friday.
Miguel Daniel Tapia was also arraigned on Friday on one count of tampering with physical evidence, Pinal County prosecutors said.
He was indicted by a grand jury on May 28.
Neighbors called police at 6 a.m. on May 16 with reports of a possible suicide attempt. A neighbor said Tapia had come to his house and told him to call 911 because "his mother was dying," according to a Maricopa Police Department report.
Police found the body of 43-year-old Holly Berry in the backyard, blood in the kitchen and a wet tile floor that appeared to have just been cleaned, according to the report.
Police said Berry had visible injuries to her face, abdomen and arms, and Tapia later told police he and Berry were in a sexual relationship and that she "got stupid" before they pushed each other until the victim fell and quit talking, according to the report.
Tapia said he blacks out and becomes violent when he's drunk, according to the report.
Tapia also told officers he blew breaths into her mouth for one to two hours before trying to get help.
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