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Man Accused of Killing April Tinsley Pleads Not Guilty

A judge entered a 'not guilty' plea for John D. Miller on Thursday morning. Miller is accused of abducting, raping and killing Tinsley in 1988.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. --  The man accused of murdering 8-year-old April Marie Tinsley in 1988 was appeared in court Thursday, and a plea of not guilty was entered for him by a judge.

John Miller, 59, was arrested Sunday and charged with murder, confinement, and child molesting. Court documents say Miller admitted to the murder and told police he killed Tinsley so she wouldn't tell anyone he had molested her.

Miller appeared Thursday before Circuit Court Judge John Surbeck, who entered Miller's plea of not guilty and assigned a public defender to his case.

The not guilty plea buys time for Miller's public defender to look at the evidence and build a defense. It  also means a plea agreement could be reached before the trial goes to court; for this to happen, prosecutors would need to be ready and willing to drop or modify a charge (or charges) in exchange for a guilty plea from Miller.

A trial date will be set August 3.

(Photo by the Allen County Sheriff's Department.)

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