The man charged in the brutal killing of Tennessee State University poultry plant manager Nathaniel Adefope pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Davidson County Criminal Court.
Jarod Marges Phillips, 23, faces charges of first-degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery stemming from the bloody campus killing last fall.
A co-worker found the 60-year-old Adefope’s body Sept. 8 inside a storage building at the school’s poultry plant. Police later determined his cause of death to be multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma.
Phillips, a part-time worker at the school farm across the street, was identified as a suspect because he called in sick the day after the attack and had recently received medical attention for a hand laceration, police said.
Police arrested Phillips Sept. 22 after DNA tests showed Phillips’ DNA was present under Adefope's fingernails.
Phillips, who was on probation at the time of Adefope’s murder, pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, resisting arrest and misdemeanor evading arrest stemming from a hold-up at an East Nashville Dollar General store in 2008.
He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 4 for a discussion hearing.