Ark. boy, 14, pleads not guilty in death of guardians

Claudia Lauer
Associated Press

Conway, Ark. — A 14-year-old boy from central Arkansas has pleaded not guilty to two counts of capital murder in the July shooting deaths of a couple who raised him as their grandson.

Justin Staton of Conway was arraigned Tuesday in Faulkner County Circuit Court. He is accused of killing Robert and Patricia Cogdell in their Conway home. Court documents say the Cogdells were not Staton’s biological grandparents but that they had raised him as if they were.

Staton did not speak at Tuesday’s hearing and his attorney declined to comment afterward.

Seventeen-year-old Hunter Drexler has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of capital murder. Prosecutors believe the teenagers plotted to kill the couple while they were in juvenile detention together.

Conway is about 30 miles north of Little Rock.