A man accused of driving around Denver with a dead friend in the back of a car and running up a bar tab on the friend's account says he thought the man was drunk, not deceased.

Robert Young, 43, faces charges including abusing a corpse. He spoke before a court hearing today in Denver, Colorado.

Investigators allege Mr Young and 25-year-old Mark Rubinson drove around with the body of their 43-year-old friend Jeffrey Jarrett in their car in August.
© unknown'Bizarre and unfortunate crime': The Denver Police spokesman said of incident - Mark Rubinson (left) and Robert Young (right) face charges of abusing a corpse

Rubinson and Young aren't charged in Jarrett's death.

Court officials say they're waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine how Jarrett died.

The pair allegedly bought dinner and drinks, withdrew $400 (£253) cash and visited a strip club - paid for by Jarrett's bank account - before reporting his death.

© unknownThe case drew disturbing comparisons to the 1989 film Weekend at Bernie's
In a statement to Denver police, Mr Young said he found his friend's body on August 27th when visiting his home.

Young and Rubinson then put their friend's body in the back of Mr Rubinson's car and drove to two Denver bars, named Teddy T's and Sam's No 3.

They then went to a Mexican restaurant, Viva Burrito, followed by a strip club named Shotgun Willies.

The men stayed at the strip club until it closed and did not report their friend's death until 4am on August 28th.

Sonny Jackson, from the Denver Police Department, said the incident was a 'bizarre and unfortunate crime'.

The spokesman said: 'This isn't anything you want to have happen to a loved one. You want them treated with respect in death.'

The case drew disturbing comparisons to the 1989 film Weekend at Bernie's, in which two young men pretend that their dead employer is really alive.