Buy Photo

Casey Christie / The Californian

Jeremy Dale Salter stands before the judge during his arraignment, Tuesday afternoon in Bakersfield.

A man arrested on suspicion of killing an Inyokern man pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder Tuesday.

Jeremy Dale Salter, 36, was ordered held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 25.

Salter is accused of killing John Harley Evans, according to Kern County sheriff's deputies. Family members of Evans called deputies April 6 to report they hadn't heard from Evans in two days.

Deputies went to Evans' residence and found what appeared to be evidence of an assault, deputies have said. They searched the residence and found what appeared to be a large amount of blood, as well as evidence that someone had attempted to dispose of bloodstained furniture and carpeting.

After interviewing witnesses and family, Salter was identified as a suspect, deputies have said. Salter was arrested by Ridgecrest police on Friday.

Evans' body has not been found.

Salter has been through the court system several times, according to the Kern County Superior Court website.

In 1996, he pleaded no contest to grand theft, in 2003 he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and failure to appear on a misdemeanor charge and in 2007 he pleaded no contest to petty theft and failure to appear after a written promise, the website says.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff's Department at 861-3110 or Secret Witness at 322-4040.