A Grandview man pleaded innocent Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to killing Preston Yahne of Prosser.
The first-degree murder trial for Robert Bruce McCorkindale, 24, was scheduled for Aug. 26. He is held in the Benton County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
McCorkindale's girlfriend, Laura Bancroft, 19, of Grandview, is held in the Yakima County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
She has been charged with second-degree arson and rendering criminal assistance and will be arraigned July 10, according to a jail official.
McCorkindale's court appearance Wednesday, attended by about a dozen of Yahne's family members and friends, took place just hours before a scheduled memorial service at Friendship Baptist Church in Prosser. Private family services will be held at a later date in the Prosser Cemetery.
Yahne's charred body was found inside his car's trunk June 18 by a tow truck driver south of Sunnyside. His family had reported the 22-year-old missing June 16.
McCorkindale told investigators he stabbed and ran over Yahne more than once following a drug dispute two days before he was reported missing, according to arrest documents.
McCorkindale then stuffed him in the trunk of Yahne's Dodge Avenger and burned the vehicle the next day.
Investigators suspect Yahne was killed in Benton County before his car was driven to South Emerald Road near Sunnyside.
Bancroft was with McCorkindale during the killing and disposal of the body, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Yahne played football and baseball for the Prosser High School Mustangs and raised and showed goats and pigs in 4-H and Future Farmers of America before he graduated in 2009.
He served in the Air Force with the 91st Security Forces as a police officer at remote nuclear missile bases in Minot, N.D., before returning to Prosser.
For the past two years, he had been working at Taste of Heaven Bakery in Prosser and had taken classes at Columbia Basin College in Pasco toward his associate degree.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @HanfordNews