A southeast Missouri man suspected of killing his mother and burning her body in a car has pleaded not guilty.

Neil Howland entered his plea and waived formal arraignment Thursday during a hearing in Scott County. He is charged with first-degree murder and five other felonies in the August death of his mother, Cynthia Canoy of Scott City.

Prosecutors allege Howland strangled his mother with a dog leash, then took her body and two of her dogs to a field and set the vehicle on fire.

The Southeast Missourian reports Howland's attorney on Thursday requested a change of judge and a different venue for the case.

Howland's girlfriend, Tiffany Warner, is charged with tampering with evidence. She has a preliminary hearing set for Oct. 23.

Comstock