A 25-year-old man pleaded innocent and innocent by reason of insanity today in the March 21 killing of a woman who police say tried to attract attention by waving a sign reading, "Help Me Please" from a car trunk.
David Brewer, of Washington Township in suburban Dayton, entered the innocent pleas in the killing of Sherry Renee Byrne, 21, the wife of a former fraternity brother of Brewer's.
Greene County Common Pleas Judge M. David Reid set a May 24 hearing date to determine Brewer's mental competence to stand trial.
Bond was continued at $500,000, and Brewer was returned to Greene County Jail.
Brewer was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications in the stabbing and strangulation death of Mrs. Byrne, whose body was found in a storage locker in Franklin on Tuesday.
Beavercreek police said they received several calls from alarmed drivers March 21, the day Mrs. Byrne disappeared, reporting they had seen a hand holding a sign saying "Help" protruding from the trunk of a car later traced to Brewer.
Police were unable to locate the car and accepted an explanation later that day from Brewer that he had been out partying with a hitchhiker who had climbed into his trunk as a prank. Officers charged Brewer with a misdemeanor of inducing panic and released him.
Five days later, on Tuesday, Brewer led police to Mrs. Byrne's body and to a gravel lane in Beavercreek where the slaying allegedly occurred, police said.