Robert Young and Mark Rubinson are accused of driving around Denver with their dead friend, 43-year-old friend Jeffrey Jarrett, in the back seat of their vehicle in August while running up bar tabs on his account.
In court, Young he said he thought his friend was passed out drunk, not deceased.
"In my mind, I wanted to believe he was passed out. I didn't want to call 911," Young said Thursday. "I didn't want to believe he was dead."
According to police reports, the night on the town started when Young went to Jarrett's home and found him unresponsive.
But rather than call the authorities, police say, Young went to find Rubinson.
The duo returned to Jarrett's home and put him into Rubinson's SUV and headed to a nightspot where they spent more than an hour drinking, leaving Jarrett's body in the vehicle, according to police records.
Police say the two men used Jarrett's card to pay for the drinks on Aug. 27, noting "they did not have Jarrett's consent."
Young said he realized Jarrett was dead while leaving the bar and the two men took him back to his home after notifying police. They then went to a strip joint, where Young took $400 from an ATM, police said.
Young said Jarrett owed him money and gave him his credit card.
He and Rubinson haven't been charged in the man's death. Investigators are still waiting for autopsy results to find out how he died.
The pair does face other charges, including abuse of a corpse.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.