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Monday, March 17, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Teen denies killing woman

TACOMA — A teenager has pleaded not guilty to charges that she strangled a Puyallup woman who had befriended her.

Emily Suzanne Lauenborg wept throughout the Friday court hearing at which she pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree murder charges in the Aug. 31, 2001, death of Dana Laskowski, 36.

Laskowski, mother of 9-year-old triplets, was found strangled in her home.

Charging documents say the 18-year-old Lauenborg was friends with Laskowski's teenage niece and that both girls were involved in street drugs and stealing to support drug habits.

Laskowski was sympathetic to them and sometimes left her window unlocked so the teens could come in and do their laundry or shower, documents say.

Lauenborg is being held in Pierce County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Lauenborg, 17 at the time of the slaying, will be tried as an adult.

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