- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A man charged in a drug-related quadruple homicide in Indianapolis rejected a plea agreement Friday, only days he’d reached a deal that would have spared him the death penalty.

Kenneth “Cody” Rackemann, 26, had been expected to plead guilty in the killings but said during the hearing, “I’m sorry, but I can’t go forward with this.”

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry called the development “horribly frustrating.” He said the plea deal would have brought finality and closure to a case that’s been pending for almost two years.

Curry said that as part of the plea deal, Rackemann had to agree to the factual basis that prosecutors alleged.

“If he doesn’t admit to the facts that support the crime, we can’t move forward with the plea deal,” he said.

Curry said his office will now proceed with a death penalty trial for Rackemann, whose pretrial hearing is now scheduled for January, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1RtSZDK ).

Rackemann had agreed to plead guilty to four counts of murder, along with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery charges, in the February 2014 slayings. His plea deal called for him to serve life in prison, sparing him from the death penalty.

Rackemann is one of four people accused in the shooting deaths during a robbery at an Indianapolis drug house. He would have been the second of those four defendants to reach a plea deal in the killings of 47-year-old Walter Burnell, 43-year-old Jacob Rodemich, 22-year-old Kristy Sanchez and 21-year-old Hayley Navarro.

Rackemann’s sister, Brandy Rackemann, attended Friday’s hearing with friends and relatives and said afterward that her brother is innocent and had only initially agreed to the plea agreement “because he didn’t want to die.”

“We’re going to keep fighting,” she said.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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