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Racine man pleads not guilty in wife's death, fire

Published On: Apr 19 2013 03:44:27 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 19 2013 03:44:36 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

A Racine man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he strangled his wife and setting fire to the house where they were staying,

Thirty-six-year-old Joseph Guerrero is accused of strangling Bianca Vite at a Mount Pleasant home one of his relatives had rented.

Prosecutors say Guerrero was drinking and taking pills before arguing with his 21-year-old wife. He is accused of killing her just days before Christmas, then trying to set the house and himself on fire. Firefighters found Vite's body on Christmas Day.

Guerrero is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, arson and mutilating a corpse. His defense attorney entered not-guilty pleas on Guerrero's behalf at Thursday's arraignment.

 The Journal Times reports Guerrero remains jailed on $500,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for June 14.

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