Covering Louisiana

Apr 2, 2014 7:03 PM by AP

Suspect pleads in deaths of father, half-sister

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - A teenager accused of killing his father and 2-year-old half-sister in January has entered a not guilty plea to two counts of first-degree murder.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the 17-year-old defendant, his hands and feet shackled and wearing a striped jumpsuit, stood quietly Wednesday as state District Judge William Burris read the charges against him. Burris says the defendant will not face the death penalty because of his age.

The victims' bodies were found Jan. 6. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain says both had been shot at close range. The teenager was arrested the next day. Strain has said the boy, who lived in Metairie with his mother, confessed to the crimes and cited a history of abuse by his father as the reason for the killings.

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