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Bouncer charged in student's slaying

Suspect pleads not guilty to first-degree murder

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A nightclub bouncer has been formally charged in the slaying of a New York graduate student, the Brooklyn district attorney's office said Thursday.

The office said Darryl Littlejohn has been indicted on one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. He entered not guilty pleas during his arraignment Thursday afternoon.

In an earlier TV interview, Littlejohn, 41, said he had nothing to do with the rape and killing of Imette St. Guillen, 24.

"I'm a likely suspect because I have a criminal background, and I wasn't supposed to be there working," he told television station WCBS in a jailhouse interview that aired Wednesday. (Watch Littlejohn explain his reaction when police came to the Falls bar -- 2:41)

He was referring to his status as a parolee, which bound him to a 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. He is in custody on the parole violation issues.

Littlejohn was working at The Falls bar, where St. Guillen was last seen alive.

St. Guillen, a criminology student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, left the Lower Manhattan bar with Littlejohn about 4 a.m. on February 25, according to witnesses.

The state parole board had approved Littlejohn's employment at a mortgage company but was unaware of his second job as a bouncer at the bar.

Littlejohn's criminal record includes three guilty pleas for armed robbery and three for possessing crack cocaine.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has called Littlejohn the "prime suspect" in the killing of St. Guillen, whose nude, bound body turned up February 25 in Brooklyn.

Her face was covered with strips of plastic packing tape and her long, brown hair was cut and a sock was stuffed into her throat, police said. Investigators determined she had been raped.

"Darryl Littlejohn's blood was found on plastic ties used to bind her hands behind her back, and a DNA match to Littlejohn was made," Kelly said.

He also said that telephone records "put the telephone that Mr. Littlejohn had in his possession in the immediate vicinity where the body was located."

At a news conference Thursday, Kelly said fibers found with the body matched the carpeting in Littlejohn's residence. Other fibers from clothing linked Littlejohn, the victim and a minivan Littlejohn drove, he said.

Littlejohn's attorney, Kevin O'Donnell, said he wasn't surprised by the indictment.

"A week and a half ago Commissioner Kelly named him as the prime suspect so it wasn't a question of if he was going to be indicted, but a question of when," O'Donnell said.

St. Guillen's mother and sister, Maureen and Alejandra St. Guillen, traveled from their home in Boston, Massachusetts, to New York on Wednesday and are expected to attend the arraignment, a friend acting as a representative for the family said.

The maximum sentence for conviction on first-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole, and the maximum for second-degree murder is life in prison with the possibility of parole.

CNN's Allan Chernoff and Lauren Rivera contributed to this report.

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