BILLINGS, Mont. -

A Montana man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he slashed the throat of another man with whom he was arguing over which branch of the military is better.

The Billings Gazette reports William Earl Cunningham appeared by video in a Thursday court hearing. He pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide.

Charging documents say Cunningham told police he and 40-year-old Nathan Horn were arguing in Laurel on Aug. 2 over whether the Marines or the Army is the better branch.

Cunningham told police Horn took a swing at him and then Cunningham cut his throat.

Assistant Public Defender Edward Werner says Cunningham is a disabled veteran.

Charging documents say Cunningham's blood-alcohol content was .217, nearly three times the legal limit to drive.

District Judge Michael Moses set Cunningham's bond at $500,000.