Sem pleads not guilty

Fairfield Daily Ledger/May 4, 2004
By Erik Gable

Shuvender Sem pleaded not guilty today in the March 1 stabbing death of Maharishi University of Management student Levi Butler.

Sem, 24, appeared in front of Judge E. Richard Meadows this morning with his court-appointed attorney, Les Lamping of Washington, after being ruled competent to stand trial.

Lamping told the judge Sem would plead not guilty to both of the charges against him: first-degree murder for the death of Butler and aggravated assault for a classroom attack on another student, John Killian.

In addition, Lamping said, Sem would demand his right to a speedy trial.

The judge asked if a May 18 trial date was acceptable to the defendant. Lamping said the defendant would require more time and asked that trial be set no earlier than June 22. County attorney Tim Dille, who is prosecuting the case, raised no objection.

Trial was set for June 22 with a pretrial conference June 1.

Sem also had requested a review of his bond, which was set at $1 million after his arrest. The bond hearing was originally scheduled for today, but will be delayed until 1:15 p.m. May 24.

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