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UAH professor pleads not guilty to wife's murder

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

A Huntsville college professor pleaded not guilty Thursday in Morgan County Circuit Court to murder in connection with his wife's strangulation death in June 2006.

Andrew Pakhomov stood with his attorney Robert Tuten during an arraignment hearing to enter the plea before Judge Sherrie Paler, who set his trial for June 25.

Police allege that Pakhomov killed his wife, Yelena Zakin. Her nude body was found by fishermen partially submerged in the Tennessee River on June 1. She was found near the public boat launch on Alabama 20, according to reports.

Pakhomov was an associate physics professor and Zakin was a senior contract administrator at The University of Alabama at Huntsville.

Decatur police said a belt appeared to be the weapon used to strangle Zakin and that Pakhomov was wearing a similar belt when arrested in November.

The victim's daughter told police that the couple had a history of domestic disputes.

Pakhomov reported his wife missing May 30, saying she had left home walking the previous night and did not return.

Pakhomov, 45, of Madison is free on bond, according to employees at the county jail.

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