AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A 20-year-old man on trial in the slaying of a University of Texas at Austin freshman on campus in 2016 has taken the stand and denied killing her.

Defense attorney Ariel Payan on Wednesday asked Meechaiel Criner: “Mick, did you kill Haruka Weiser?” Criner replied: “No, sir.”

Meechaiel Criner

Criner also testified that he’d never seen her.

Weiser, an 18-year-old dance major from Portland, Oregon, was last seen leaving the campus drama building the night of her death. Her body was found two days later in Waller Creek near the campus alumni center and football stadium. She had been strangled and sexually assaulted.

Haruka Weiser

Criner, a 17-year-old foster care runaway at the time of the killing, is charged with capital murder. He faces a sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors have said that items belonging to Weiser were found at places where Criner was staying. In his testimony, Criner described taking items from trash bins.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)