A man accused of killing his girlfriend in Palm Springs, then fleeing to Texas after police questioned him, pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Wednesday.

James Beushausen, 34, is accused in the shooting death of Jaylynn Amanda Keith, 27, whose body was found around 10 a.m. March 15 in a bathtub at the Belardo Road apartment the couple shared. She had been shot in the head.

Beushausen “abruptly quit his job” and moved to McAllen, Texas, after being questioned by detectives, according to police. He allegedly told detectives and Keith’s relatives differing stories about Keith’s death, including that she had committed suicide.

Forensic analysis determined the gunshot wound could not have been self- inflicted, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant, which cited the positioning of her body in relation to where investigators found the gun.

The arrest warrant declaration states that Keith was planning on leaving Beushausen and was involved in “an altercation” with him on the morning of March 14.

Keith told family members that Beushausen had become “psycho crazy” during the altercation and was afraid that things would go “physically bad” when she told him she wanted to break up, according to the document, which described him as “a gun enthusiast, who was familiar with firearms” and had a gun safe.

She intended on telling him she wanted to leave “when he sobered up” and had already made arrangements with family and friends for another living situation, according to the declaration, which says she had no history of depression or suicidal thoughts.

On the morning Keith’s body was discovered, Beushausen displayed abnormal behavior at his workplace, arriving late and leaving early, which co- workers told police was unusual, since he was known as a “stickler for time,” the document says.

Palm Springs police investigators traveled to Texas and apprehended Beushausen on Oct. 18 in the parking lot of a shopping center in McAllen, which is just north of the Mexican border, according to Sgt. William Hutchinson.

Beushausen was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on Saturday night. He is being held in lieu of $1.1 million bail and will return to court Nov. 20 for a felony settlement conference.

In addition to murder, Beushausen is charged with two counts of possessing assault weapons, stemming from two rifles investigators found at his home.

–City News Service

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