Man pleads ‘not guilty’ to killing college counselor, burning apartment

Amanda Strous
Amanda Strous

The man accused in the death of a college counselor, whose body was found inside her burning apartment, has entered a "not guilty" plea.

Matthew Benner is accused of killing 27-year-old Amanda Strous in June 2016. Strous was a student counselor at Central Piedmont Community College. She had been employed at CPCC for about six months.

Benner was found sleeping in his truck outside of a motel in Nevada several days after her death, He was charged with murder and first-degree arson.

Authorities who arrested Benner say he confessed to the crime, but when he faced a judge Thursday morning - he entered a "not guilty" plea.

Benner lived in the same apartment complex as Strous along Toscana Way in Charlotte's Steele Creek area.

Strous was engaged to be married just weeks before she died.