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.
St. Charles police believe the man accused of drugging and raping a 13 year old girl and taking nude cell phone pictures of her, probably had more victims.
Forty-seven year old Thomas Wilburn is charged with statutory sodomy, statutory rape and enticement of a child under age 14.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says Wilburn lured the girl to his apartment in May through a singles' telephone chat service that's supposed to be for adults only. Lohmar calls that disturbing. "It is very concerning that somebody who's underage could find their way, not only into the chat room, but to be able to participate in the chat room," Lohmar said.
Lohmar says this girl probably wasn't the only victim Wilburn met through the chat service. "We have reason to believe that there are other victims out there, for sure," he said.
Police say Wilburn was identified through court ordered phone records.
Wilburn is a registered sex offender with statutory rape convictions in 2007. He's currently jailed on $100,000 bond.
MADISON, Ala. (AP) - Court records say the parents of an 18-month-old girl who died after eating dishwashing detergent may not have immediately helped the girl because they were heavily intoxicated.
Investigators have charged 31-year-old Kristopher Joseph Speigner and 29-year-old Joy Lynn Speigner with negligent homicide in the Sept. 30, 2012, death of their daughter, McKenzie.
Affidavits say the girl swallowed a dishwashing detergent pod and her parents didn't seek medical help for her until the next day because they had both used prescription drugs and drank alcohol.
The girl's father was arrested Monday and her stepmother surrendered to authorities Tuesday.
Jail records show the two have been released on $6,000 bond each. It's unclear if they have attorneys. A message left at a number for Kristopher Speigner was not immediately returned.