With an almost cheerful, “not guilty,” former Westporter Kyle Navin on Wednesday became the first person in Fairfield County to face trial under the new non-death penalty murder charge for killing his parents last year.

The new charge, instituted after the state Supreme Court threw out the death penalty and its capital felony charge, is now murder under special circumstances and carries the maximum term of life in prison without release.

But that clearly was not on the mind of the 27-year-old Navin — charged with fatally shooting his parents — as he stood before Judge Robert Devlin at state Superior Court in Bridgeport.

“He made everything very clear to me,” Navin told the judge of his lawyer, Eugene Riccio, when asked about his decision to waive a hearing on probable cause and go directly to pleading not guilty to the charges against him.

“I understand it completely, thank you,” he said, smiling.

The operations manager of the family’s Westport garbage collection company, Navin is accused of fatally shooting his parents after they threatened to cut him out of their will.

Jeffrey Navin, 56, the president of J&J Refuse, and his wife, Jeanette, 55, a Weston Intermediate School library paraprofessional, disappeared from their Easton home Aug. 4. Both had previously been longtime Westport residents, and Kyle Navin is a Staples High School graduate.

The senior Navins’ bodies were found buried beneath debris in Weston on Oct. 29.

In addition to the new murder charge, Kyle Navin is also charged with two counts of murder, one for each parent.

Under a probable cause hearing, the state would have to present the judge with evidence to show it had probable cause to try Navin swith the murders.

Navin told the judge he wants to be tried by a jury. The judge then continued the case to Feb. 24.

State’s Attorney John Smriga confirmed the charge of murder under special circumstances replaced the former capital felony charge, but declined other comments on the case.

Riccio had no comment as he left the courtroom.

Navin’s girlfriend, 31-year-old Jennifer Valiante of Westport, who he met when both were students at Staples High School, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and hindering prosecution for allegedly helping him plan and cover up his parents’ deaths.

Navin is being held in lieu of $2.5 million bond, while Valiante has a $2 million bond.

Police said Navin, who had a drug habit, killed his parents with his girlfriend’s help to get their money.

Two weeks before her disappearance, Jeanette Navin tearfully told a friend she was at wits end with her eldest son, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. She and her husband were cutting Kyle out of their will, she told the friend, and selling their business.

“Kyle will be on his own without any financial support from the family,” the affidavit states.

The warrant affidavit reveals the alarming texts between Kyle Navin and Valiante. “I was trying not to punch him in the face and get arrested because if I do punch him I won’t be able to stop,” Kyle Navin texted Valiante.

“We need to figure out what the best way to take them down whether it is get some money out of them somehow (expletive) him at the business the house something we got to figure out I’m got to be real smart and do it quick.”

And later: “It would solve every single problem and give us a wealthy amazing life.”

The warrant states that police found two bullet holes in the front passenger seat of Kyle Navin’s blue 2000 pickup truck. The portion of the seat-belt that would go over the chest of the passenger also had a bullet hole in it. Jeannette Navin’s blood was found on the seat.

Blood stains were also found on the basement floor of Kyle’s Navin’s house in Bridgeport; they matched his father, the affidavit states.