North Idaho

Judge enters pleas for Post Falls murder suspect

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- - A judge entered not guilty pleas on behalf of a man charged with strangling his wife and her daughter in Post Falls on July 8.

24-year-old Angel Albertico Morales-Larranaga chose to remain silent Thursday when 1st District Judge Fred Gibler asked for his plea to the two counts of first-degree murder.

Morales-Larranaga is charged in the deaths of 24-year-old Facunda Velenzuelaleon and 6-year-old Dayana Valencia. He is being held in the Kootenai County jail with bail set at $2 million.

A Post Falls police report says Morales-Larranaga told a friend he strangled his wife. The friend asked about the girl and said Morales-Larranaga replied that she was hitting him so he "had to kill her, too."

Gibler granted prosecutors more time to decide if they will pursue the death penalty.