GUNNISON, Colo. - A Texas businessman has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife in southwest Colorado in 2008.

Frederick Mueller of San Angelo, Texas, is accused in the death of his wife, Leslie, in what her obituary had described as a hiking accident.

The Montrose Daily Press reports Mueller had told investigators his wife was standing near the edge of an embankment when her puppy was startled by a passing bluebird, and she lost her footing. He says she hit a granite slab below, then slid into a stream.

Investigators say Leslie Mueller's injuries weren't consistent with that story.

Frederick Mueller's attorneys say prosecutors have offered no proof he killed his wife.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Another court date is set for March 14, when a trial date could be set.

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Information from: The Montrose Daily Press, http://www.montrosepress.com