The man accused of a four-year-old homicide in Port Alberni has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, provincial prosecutor David Kidd said.
The lawyer for Donald Nagel, 36, entered the plea in Port Alberni Provincial Court before Judge Douglas Cowling last week.
Nagel has elected to have his case heard by a provincial court judge instead of a jury; the case will start in August.
The manslaughter charge stems from the death of Michael Scott Cowley, who was found dead in his Argyle Street apartment in 2006.
The subsequent police investigation revealed that Cowley died as a result of injuries from blunt force trauma.
Police arrested a suspect two months later and recommended charges. But the case never made it to court.
Nagel was living in Port Alberni when Cowley died but moved to Alberta after the incident.
Investigators from the RCMP E Division major crime section and Port Alberni RCMP office worked on the case for four years. Nagel was transported from his home in Brooks, Alta. to Port Alberni, where he made his first court appearance last September.