PHOTOS: Stolen Stradivarius violin
Salah Salahadyn of Milwaukee appeared in a Milwaukee courtroom. He's accused of Tasing Frank Almond, who's taught at Northwestern, and stealing the $5 million violin. He claims an Asian gang threatened to hurt his family if he didn't steal it.
The suspect says he played violin as a child and took good care of the Stradivarius while he had it.
Online court records say Salahadyn entered a not-guilty plea Monday after waiving his preliminary hearing.
The 41-year-old is charged with being a party to robbery. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Public defender Alejandro Lockwood declined to comment afterward.
Salahadyn and 36-year-old Universal K. Allah are both charged in the theft. A 300-year-old Stradivarius was stolen from the Milwaukee concertmaster in a stun-gun attack Jan. 27 but police recovered the instrument in good condition nine days later.
Salahadyn served five years for a previous conviction for art theft. Prosecutors say he'd been plotting for a while to steal a Stradivarius.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.