Trial set for man accused of killing 2, burying bodies

PHOENIX (AP) - Opening statements are scheduled Monday at the trial of an Arizona man charged with murder in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found nearly two years later buried in his mother's backyard.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against 46-year-old Alan Mathew Champagne in the 2011 deaths of Philmon Tapaha and Brandi Nicole Hoffner.

Champagne has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Investigators say Champagne fatally shot Tapaha and choked Hoffner to death at his apartment, put their bodies in the box, poured in lime to help with decomposition and buried it a half-mile away at his mother's home.

The big break in the case came in March 2013 when a landscaper at a home where Champagne's mother used to live had discovered the buried bodies.

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