A convicted felon accused of killing a woman and burning down her home pleaded not guilty today to murder and other charges.David James Lillard of Menifee was arrested Sept. 6 in connection with the death of 50-year-old Autumn Kissinger.
Along with the murder count, Lillard is charged with arson and burglary. He was arraigned today at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Judith Clark, who set a felony settlement conference in the case for Sept. 27.
The 51-year-old defendant remains held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
According to sheriff's investigators, Kissinger's remains were discovered by firefighters after they knocked down a blaze that destroyed her mobile home in the 33600 block of El Centro Lane, off Highway 74, in the unincorporated area of Green Acres, in the predawn hours of Sept. 4.
The cause of death has not been determined.
Lillard, identified as a suspect early in the investigation, was tracked down and taken into custody without incident outside a house at 27389 Presley St. in Menifee.
Sheriff's officials would not disclose Kissinger's and Lillard's relationship, or what alleged evidence linked him to her death.
According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, battery and failure to register as a sex offender.
—City News Service