By Richard Weizel
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Reuters) - A Connecticut man and his girlfriend were formally charged on Tuesday in the murder of his parents, whose disappearance was a mystery for months until their dismembered bodies were found buried in a suburban backyard.
The parents, who owned a trash company in Westport, disappeared on Aug. 4. Their bodies were discovered in the backyard of a vacant home in Weston, not far from where they had once lived, in late October.
In his second appearance at Superior Court in Bridgeport on Tuesday, Robert Navin, 27, did not say whether he was guilty or not guilty of murdering his parents, Jeffrey Navin, 56, and Jeanette Navin, 55. Prosecutors contend he killed the couple after learning that they planned to sell the trash company where he worked and cut him out of their will.
His girlfriend, Jennifer Valiante, 31, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction.
Judge Robert Devlin ordered Navin held on $2.5 million bail and set a $2 million bail for Valiante.
Prosecutors contend that Navin and Valiante discussed killing the elder Navins in text messages. Their exchanges suggested Navin had been desperate for money because of a heroin addiction that cost up to $600 a day, and that he was angry over his parents' plans to sell the garbage disposal business and cut him out of their will, according to court documents.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis)