An online graphic novelist has been charged with the brutal killing of a girlfriend whose body was found drained of blood.
Blake Leibel, 35, entered a not guilty plea to first-degree murder in a Los Angeles court on Tuesday.
He is accused of killing 30-year-old Iana Kasian, whose body was found in a West Hollywood apartment.
Officers responded to the flat last Thursday after Ms Kasian’s mother reported her missing.
She appeared to have been badly beaten over the previous days and all the blood had drained from her body, authorities said.
Leibel was also found inside with the door barricaded with furniture.
He faces a possible death sentence due to “special circumstance allegations of the murder involving torture and mayhem”, according to the LA District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities said Leibel and Ms Kasian had a child together, but did not provide further details on their relationship.
Media reports indicated the child was born in early May.
Leibel was arrested on 20 May on a sex-assault charge and later released on $100,000 bail.
It was not immediately clear if the alleged assault involved Ms Kasian.
He is currently being held without bail and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on 14 June.
According to his Tumblr page, Leibel authored online novels, comic books and screenplays.
In 2010 he published Syndrome, a graphic novel that “grappled with the questions surrounding what provokes a person to commit evil acts”, according to his Tumblr profile.
Leibel is the son of Canadian property developer and former Olympian Lorne Leibel.