Prosecutors say Darrell Dennis, 47, is responsible for the May 10 shooting death of Forrest Abrams, 18, in Little Rock.
Abrams' body was found in the predawn hours at 11th & Woodrow after a robbery-kidnapping.
Judge Chris Piazza set a February 3 trial date. A pre-trial hearing is set for December 17.
Dennis did not speak during the brief hearing, but told FOX16 outside the courtroom "I'm innocent" in Abrams' death.
Prosecutors say they will consult with Abrams' family before deciding whether to pursue the death penalty.
Since the arrest of Dennis in the Abrams killing, the state's Department of Community Correction has come under fire for its handling of the eight-time parole absconder who was arrested and charged numerous times while on parole but was never transferred to the Arkansas Department of Correction.
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