Attorneys representing a Denver couple accused of beating a 7-year old boy, stuffing him in a closet and starving him to death, asked for separate trials Monday.
Judge John Madden IV said no.
He then set the trial date for March 31.
Jon Philip and Sarah Berry are both facing charges of first-degree murder in connection with the starvation death of Chandler Grafner.
The victim's grandmother, Sandra Younger, told 7NEWS she thinks Phillips mistreated Grafner to get back at her daughter for breaking up with him. Her daughter is Grafner's birth mother.
Younger said her daughter had issues of her own, so she was taking care of her grandchildren -- Grafner and his brother Dominick -- until Social Services awarded custody to Phillips and his girlfriend Sarah Berry.
On Monday, the judge entered not guilty pleas for both defendants.
He asked attorneys on both sides how long they expected the trial to last.
One attorney estimated two and a half weeks.
"Given the notoriety this case has received, I would like to err on the side of caution," Madden said, before blocking off three weeks for the trial.
Monday's hearing was delayed because someone forgot to put Phillips on the bus that transports inmates from the county jail to the City and County Building.
Deputies were sent to pick Phillips up.
Both he and Berry are being held without bond.
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