KINGMAN, Ariz. — A California man has pleaded not guilty in the death of his cellmate at a northwestern Arizona jail.

Gaven Robel is charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of 41-year-old Kingman resident Ryan Couch. The two shared a cell at the Mohave County Jail for a few days last month.

The Mohave Valley Daily News reports the 25-year-old Robel entered his plea Thursday in superior court.

He faces natural life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors have not said whether they’ll seek the death penalty.

Robel originally was jailed on charges related to his alleged role in a Bullhead City opioid ring.

The Needles man is being held on a $5 million bond.

His next court hearing is in late February.

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