- Associated Press - Friday, July 12, 2019

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man accused of killing four people including his ex-girlfriend and their 6-year-old son pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder Friday.

Armond Johnson Sr., 26, appeared in court for the first time since his arrest on Tuesday. He is being held on a $5 million bail.

Authorities said in a court document that he first shot his ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old Takeyra Collins, in her bedroom either late Monday or early Tuesday.

Johnson then started a fire to cover up the killing and left. But he returned shortly afterward and confronted a neighbor returning to his home behind where Collins lived, according to the document.

He shot the neighbor, 35-year-old David Cousin Jr., who investigators think just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, police said.

Officers later on Tuesday found the bodies of the two children, 6-year-old Armond Johnson Jr. and his sister, 2-year-old Aubree Stone. Autopsies showed they died of smoke inhalation.

A message seeking comment was left with Johnson’s attorney.

Court records show Johnson was accused of attacking Collins in 2013 at her home. A judge granted a protection order barring him from being near her, WJW-TV reported.

Collins told police she broke up with Johnson a month before he attacked her in 2013 because she said he had attacked her many times before.

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