PHOENIX — A Mesa man arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his live-in girlfriend earlier this month has pleaded not guilty.

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say Teddy Vanders entered his plea Thursday.

His next scheduled court appearance is a Sept. 12 pretrial conference.

Mesa police say the 52-year-old Vanders reported he shot his girlfriend at their home in the early morning hours of July 13.

The two reportedly had lived together for a decade and Vanders told police that had been drinking and arguing before the shooting occurred.

Court documents show that Vanders told police that he shot the woman to end her alleged abusiveness.

The name of the victim hasn’t been released.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.