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U.S. News

"Preppy Killer" in New York court on drug charges

In this file photo Robert Chambers, also known as the Preppy Murderer, enters State Supreme Court in New York on June 20, 2005. Chambers who strangled a woman to death in New York's Central Park in 1986, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of selling cocaine out of his girlfriend's apartment. REUTERS/Seth Wenig

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The so-called “Preppy Killer,” who strangled a woman to death in New York’s Central Park in 1986, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of selling cocaine out of his girlfriend’s apartment.

Manhattan State Court Justice Charles Solomon was to decide on Monday whether to grant bail to Robert Chambers and his girlfriend, Shawn Kovell, who also pleaded not guilty to charges of drug sale and possession.

Chambers, 41, and Kovell, 39, have been in custody since their arrest on Monday night at her apartment in Manhattan.

In 1988, Chambers was sent to prison for killing 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. Levin was found strangled in Central Park after what Chambers described as an episode of rough sex.

Chambers’ good looks and preparatory school education earned him the tabloid nickname “Preppy Killer.”

After the jury deadlocked on murder charges, Chambers agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter and serve five to 15 years behind bars. But misbehavior in prison meant that Chambers served the maximum sentence. He was released in 2003.

Chambers faces a maximum sentence of 150 years behind bars and Kovell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted on the drug charges, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.

Kovell’s lawyer, Frank Rothman, said that his client could face a more stringent punishment because of her association with Chambers.

“She’s in love with someone who’s got a whole world of legal problems,” he told reporters outside the courthouse.

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