A Las Vegas couple accused of killing a 17-year-old runaway and mutilating her body to hide her identity pleaded not guilty Tuesday in District Court.
During a brief appearance, Gabriel Yates, 31, and Anne Osburn, 21, who are being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail, entered their pleas. A status check was scheduled for Oct. 6.
The two are charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree murder. They could face the death penalty if convicted.
The couple is accused of choking Nichole Yegge to death, then knocking out her teeth and slicing off her tattoos to hide her identity. Yegge’s body was found stuffed in a hockey bag and buried in a shallow grave in the desert.
Las Vegas police were tipped off to the crime in August, when dispatchers received a call from an acquaintance of Osburn’s in Alabama.
A police report outlining the woman’s tip says that “her friends Gabriel Yates and ‘Anne’ were involved in the murder of a 17-year-old prostitute named ‘Nikki,’ whom Yates had been pimping out on Craig’s List.”
Police surreptitiously followed Yates to the grave site after detectives on surveillance overheard Osburn describing the slaying. The couple were arrested on Aug. 3. Police say the crime was committed in late July.