Trial set in killings of couple found buried in Phoenix backyard

Posted at 5:40 AM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 10:55:17-05
A March 16 trial has been set for a man charged with murder in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found buried in the backyard of a Phoenix home.
Alan Mathew Champagne has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the 2011 deaths of Philman Tapaha and Tapaha's girlfriend, Brandi Hoffner.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Authorities say Champagne shot Tapaha during a dispute at an apartment and later suffocated Hoffner.
The bodies were found in a plywood box buried outside a home where Champagne's mother used to live.
A woman who investigators say was with Champagne during the killings pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder in Hoffner's death.
Elise Garcia was later sentenced to 16 years in prison for the conviction.