Trial to begin for man accused of killing 2, burying bodies in Phoenix

Posted at 6:30 AM, May 01, 2017

Lawyers are scheduled to make opening statements Monday at the trial of a Phoenix man charged with killing two people whose bodies were later found buried in his mother's backyard.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against 46-year-old Alan Mathew Champagne in the 2011 deaths of Philmon Tapaha and Brandi Nicole Hoffner.

Champagne has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Investigators say Champagne fatally shot Tapaha and choked Hoffner to death at his apartment, put their bodies in the box, poured in lime to help with decomposition and buried it a half-mile away at his mother's home.

The big break in the case came in March 2013 when a landscaper at a home where Champagne's mother used to live had discovered the buried bodies.