Yale Suspect Pleads Not Guilty; Car To Be Returned

A former

Yale University

lab technician has pleaded not guilty to killing graduate student

Annie Le

last September.

Raymond J. Clark III entered not-guilty pleas to two counts — murder and felony murder — during a brief appearance in Superior Court Tuesday morning.

He also waived his right to a probable-cause hearing.

His next court date is March 3.

Also in court Tuesday, the judge agreed to return

Raymond Clark's

mother's car, a 1999 Ford Taurus, which had been confiscated shortly after Clark's arrest in September. Police said Clark was a passenger in the Taurus the day Le disappeared. According to search warrants, police found "blood-like stains" in the car. Clark and his girlfriend were seen leaving a coffee shop in the Taurus hours after Le was killed, according to affidavits.

Probable-cause hearings, mandatory under state law in cases punishable by death or life in prison, require judges to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed. The hearings give both sides the chance to present evidence and call witnesses. Judges rarely rule that probable cause is lacking, and defendants usually waive such hearings.

Le's body was found stuffed inside a wall at the Yale Animal Research Center in

New Haven

, which is part of the

Yale School of Medicine

complex where Clark worked and Le did research. Her body was found Sept. 13, the day Le was supposed to get married.