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Hieb denies conspiracy to kill man

A 21-year-old accused of conspiring with two others to kill a Fargo man pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cass County District Court.

David L. Hieb was the first of the three suspects to reach his preliminary hearing, where defendants can request the state prove probable cause to a judge. Hieb waved the hearing and pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit murder, a charge punishable by life in prison.

Also charged in the case are James William Thompson III, 20, and Travis A. Jenkins, 21. The three men are accused of planning to kill Orvin Berg, 50, on Nov. 3 at a friend's apartment.

Berg's body is still missing, despite several searches by authorities of the Red River. Police say they believe one of the three men killed Berg with a hammer.

Thompson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday, Jenkins March 17. Hieb next appears in court at a March 30 dispositional conference, the hearing where defendants are asked to schedule a trial date or a date to change their plea.