- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife who was found dead on Long Island nearly six years ago.

Thirty-three-year-old Joseph Jones entered the plea Monday during his arraignment.

Prosecutors say Jones beat and strangled Nicole Tessa and buried her in a shallow grave after she confronted him about selling her oxycodone pills.

Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla says Tessa was particularly upset the night of her death because she was addicted to the pills and was also selling them.

Biancavilla says Tessa had been prescribed nearly 5,000 oxycodone pills in one year.

Defense attorney George Duncan says his client maintains his innocence.

Jones has been ordered held without bail.



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