- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The owner of a Baton Rouge automobile dealership has pleaded not guilty in the alleged murder-for-hire of his former wife, to whom he owed more than $1 million as part of a divorce settlement.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1PwqTnp) Hamid Ghassemi, 64, is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of 54-year-old Taherah Ghassemi.

Last seen alive April 11, she was found on May 16 buried in a shallow grave in rural St. Helena Parish with a gunshot wound to the head.

Hamid Ghassemi, shackled and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, entered his plea of not guilty before state District Judge Lou Daniel. James Rothkamm enrolled as his attorney.

Ghassemi’s next court appearance is Dec. 15.

His co-defendants - Daniel Humberto Richter, 33, of Walker; and Tyler Lee Ashpaugh, 21, and Skyler W. Williams, 18, both of Denham Springs - are scheduled to be arraigned over the next several days.

Her burned car was found April 12 in Baton Rouge.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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