- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas teenager accused of helping kill another boy’s grandparents pleaded not guilty Friday to capital murder and other charges.

Hunter Drexler, 17, of Clinton, appeared in Faulkner County Circuit Court Friday afternoon for a plea and arraignment hearing. Drexler is charged as an adult with two counts each of capital murder, aggravated robbery, theft of property obtained by threat of serious physical injury and abuse of a corpse.

Drexler is accused of helping 14-year-old Justin Staton kill his grandparents, Robert and Patricia Cogdell, of Conway.

The prosecuting attorney’s office confirmed Drexler’s plea after his appearance Friday. A judge set a pre-trial hearing for September.

Staton faces the same charges in the July 22 shooting deaths of his grandparents, who were raising him. A plea and arraignment hearing for Staton is scheduled for Aug. 25.

The Cogdells were found shot to death at their home, about 30 miles outside of Little Rock after Robert did not report to work as the Public Works Director for the City of nearby Maumelle. Police said the teenagers shot the couple then dragged their bodies to a tree-lined area behind the house.

According to an affidavit filed with the charges, the teens along with a third boy came up with the plan to kill the Cogdells while they were held in a juvenile detention facility.

Drexler and two other teenagers were detained in Texas days after the killings and found with some of Robert Cogdell’s credit cards. The other teenagers have not been charged with any crimes.

Prosecutor Cody Hiland has said he expects additional charges to be filed in the case.

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