Couple pleads not guilty in murder of casino patron

Craig Arno, left, and Jessica Kisby, right, have pleaded not guilty to homicide charges in the death of Atlantic City tourist Martin Caballero. (April Saul / Staff Photographer)

An Atlantic County couple who authorities allege went on a Bonnie-and-Clyde crime spree last year pleaded not guilty today to murder, arson, kidnapping and car-jacking charges during brief hearings in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Craig B. Arno, 44, and Jessica Kisby, 25, have each been held on $2 million bail since their arrests in May 2010.

Their appearances Monday before Judge Michael A. Donio were their first since the charges against them were expanded into a 39-count indictment handed up by a county grand jury in April.

Authorities allege that the couple kidnapped casino patron Martin Caballero in a parking garage of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort on May 21. Caballero, a grocery store owner from Hudson County, had gone to the casino that night with family members to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.

His car, which had been torched, was found in a parking lot in Gloucester Township hours after Caballero was kidnapped.

Arno and Kisby were arrested at the Golden Key Motel in West Atlantic City on May 28 after they failed in a second carjacking that authorities believe was part of a plan to flee the Atlantic City area.

Two days after their arrests, authorities discovered Caballero’s badly burned body along a farm road near Hammonton. The charges against the couple were then upgraded to include murder.

Family members of the victim were in court today but did not comment.