Justin DeRyke was in court Thursday to enter a not guilty plea for the murder of his young niece.
With the plea, DeRyke moved the case closer to a trial. Police say DeRyke admitted to stabbing 7-year-old Willow Long to death, but he claims it was to "put her out of her misery". He claims that the girl fell into a pile of brush and a stick stabbed her in the neck. An autopsy result turned up evidence that prosecutors say contradict his story. The judge set the trial for December 2.
If convicted, DeRyke faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for over a decade has pleaded not guilty to additional charges.
An expanded indictment charges Ariel Castro with 512 counts of kidnapping and 446 counts of rape, among other crimes.
Castro was arrested in May after the women escaped to freedom.
MARION, Ill. (AP) - A man who resigned as a southern Illinois sheriff's deputy after being accused of drunken driving for the second time in five years has pleaded not guilty to his latest DUI count.
WSIL-TV reports that 48-year-old deputy Shaunn Curry entered the plea Tuesday in Williamson County Circuit Court. He's charged with driving under the influence.
Authorities say the Williamson County deputy was off duty in his own vehicle March 1 when he was stopped near Marion after several motorists called 911 to report a possible drunken driver.
Curry was found guilty in 2009 of DUI related to a December 2007 wreck he had while off duty. He was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge.
He resigned late last month.
The Southeast Missourian reports that 22-year-old Kenneth Bell of Cape Girardeau entered the plea at a hearing Monday.
Bell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Shannon James and Misty Cole. Both were shot to death Feb. 7 inside their apartment.
The next court appearance for Bell is April 18.
Witnesses told police that a confrontation began when James bumped into Bell on a sidewalk. Moments later, James and Cole were shot several times.