Mar 24, 2010 12:15 PM by Melissa Canone
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - One of two men accused of burning five New Jersey teenagers to death in an alleged dispute over stolen marijuana in 1978 has pleaded not guilty.
Fifty-three-year-old Philander Hampton appeared in court in Newark on Wednesday in front of several dozen relatives of the victims and entered a plea through his attorney.
A judge continued bail for Hampton at $5 million. He and co-defendant Lee Evans are charged with five counts of murder and one count of arson.
The break in one of the state's longest missing-persons case came when a relative of one of the victims said Evans confessed to him 18 months ago.
Essex County prosecutors believe the boys were herded at gunpoint into an abandoned building and the building was set on fire.