Man pleads not guilty to 4 Detroit-area slayings

This photo provided by the Detroit Police Department via the Detroit News shows James Brown. Brown, who authorities say killed four women in December 2011, locked their bodies in car trunks and abandoned them in Detroit has been charged with murder, prosecutors announced Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Detroit Police Department via The Detroit News)

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — A man has pleaded not guilty to murdering four women whose bodies were found in the trunks of abandoned cars in Detroit last December.

Twenty-four-year-old James Brown, of the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, said little during Monday’s brief arraignment on four counts of first-degree murder. He’s due back in court Jan. 9.

Brown’s lawyer Jeffrey Cojocar, who entered the pleas on behalf of Brown, says his client maintains he didn’t kill the women.

The bodies of 24-year-old Demesha Hunt and 23-year-old Renisha Landers were found Dec. 19 in a car trunk in Detroit. The bodies of Natasha Curtis and Vernithea McCrary were found Christmas Day in the trunk of a burning car.

Three of the women had placed adult dating service ads on

— Associated Press