Man accused of killing Charlotte bride-to-be faces judge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man accused of killing a woman in her southwest Charlotte apartment and setting it on fire faced a judge Tuesday morning.

Matthew Benner, 27, was brought back to Charlotte Monday after being arrested more than a week ago in Nevada for the murder of Amanda Strous, 28.

Officials said Benner lived directly above Strous at the Enclave Apartments in Steele Creek and may have been stalking her.

Police found some of her personal items in his apartment during the investigation.

Reporter Mark Becker was inside the courtroom for Benner's first appearance.

After the judge read Benner the charges against him, he told him that he faces the possibility of either life in prison or the death penalty.

Benner's attorney did not ask for bond, and the judge set his bond hearing for July 13.

Strous, a Central Piedmont Community College counselor, moved to Charlotte last summer. She had planned to get married in July.

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