As Jeremy Wayne Manieri was escorted into Waveland Municipal Court for an initial hearing, an Associated Press reporter asked if he did what he was accused of. Manieri answered, "No, sir."
He did not enter a plea on Thursday. Judge P.J. Mauffray set bond at more than $2 million.
Manieri is charged with murder and grand larceny in the death of the Rev. Edward E. Everitt of Hammond, La., whose body was found July 11 in Waveland.
Manieri was arrested the next day near Winter Haven, Fla. Police said he had bought three-day passes to Disney World for his ex-wife, his stepson and daughter