Anthony Leng, the Portland man accused of killing his domestic partner in early January after an argument, pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Friday.

During a brief hearing at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland, Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton ordered that Leng continue to be held without bail.

Leng, 40, said his domestic partner, Sokha Khuon, had a knife during the argument over an affair she accused Leng of having with a co-worker. Leng was arrested about a week after the shooting and police said he changed his account of the shooting over the course of that week.

Khuon, 36, was shot at least five times Jan. 7 in the Dorothy Street home that the couple shared with two of their three children.

But police said that it appeared that Khuon was shot moments after entering the home. She was still wearing her winter coat with a purse under one arm when police found her body slumped against a dishwasher in the kitchen with a knife resting in the palm of one hand and eight other knives scattered around her.

At a probable cause hearing in court in late January, Peter Cyr, Leng’s attorney, stressed the self-defense argument and sought bail, which was denied. During the five-minute arraignment Friday, Cyr said he and Leng did not object to Leng’s continuing to be held without bail.

Horton said he would meet with prosecutors and Cyr in about two weeks to set out a schedule for Leng, including a trial date. Cyr said it is likely to be a year or two before the case moves to trial.

Leng and Khuon had three children, two of whom were at home at the time of the shooting. Cyr said the children are staying with relatives.

Khuon worked at Direct Mail Maine in Scarborough and Leng was a maintenance worker for the Portland Housing Authority.

Leng had no prior criminal history, but his children said he had threatened to kill their mother in the past and also threatened to kill himself, according to police. Neighbors said he was a hunter and sportsman who owned guns and hunting bows.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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