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MISSOULA - A former fugitive charged in a 1985 Missoula murder has pleaded not guilty.

Robert Chickene entered his plea Tuesday in District Court in Missoula. He was arrested in September just outside San Antonio, Texas, after nearly 23 years on the run.

Chickene, 57, is charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend, Paula Rodriguez.

Investigators say Chickene had been living under a false identity due to previous run-ins with the law and killed Rodriguez after she threatened to expose his true identity.

A police officer found her body wrapped in a tarp along Petty Creek, west of Missoula, in November 1985. She had been shot twice at close range.

Chickene also pleaded not guilty to tampering with physical evidence and tampering with public records or information. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

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