Boyfriend pleads not guilty to slaying bartender

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MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- The former boyfriend of a 32-year-old bartender from Central Point who died of multiple stab wounds has pleaded not guilty to murder and arson charges.

KTVL-TV reports (http://bit.ly/pT4mM9) 36-year-old Jeffrey Wheeler was also charged with abuse of a corpse.

Deputy District Attorney David Orr says Wheeler may be facing another charge related to the presence of a child the couple shared who was in the home the night the woman was killed.

Wheeler is accused of killing Jessica Bethany, whose body was found in early September in her apartment. She worked at a bar in nearby Medford.

Prosecutors allege an enraged Wheeler stabbed Bethany multiple times in the neck, then partially burned her body.

Friends said in court that Bethany had ended her relationship with Wheeler and went on a date with another man on the night of the slaying.

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Information from: KTVL-TV, http://www.ktvl.com/