- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - A 22-year-old Rockford man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the shooting deaths of four people, including two young children.

The Rockford Register Star (https://bit.ly/1G8aelO ) reports Calvin L. Carter is charged in the Dec. 20 slayings of 24-year-old Martia Flint; her boyfriend, 24-year-old Demontae Rhodes; and Flint’s two sons, 6-year-old Tyrone Smith III and 4-year-old Tobias K. Smith. They were found dead in a Rockford apartment.

Authorities say Carter, 22, previously had a relationship with Flint.

Attorneys representing Carter asked in a court filing that news media not be allowed to take photos and video at hearings and during the trial.

“In my experience it creates more problems than it solves, and I don’t think it gives a fair assessment of what actually goes on in the courtrooms,” said Nick Zimmerman, a public defender representing Carter.

The court filing said the case “is prone to sensationalism.” A judge will hear those objections at a hearing Feb. 26.

A not guilty plea had previously been entered on behalf of Carter by a Winnebago County judge. He turned himself in to authorities on a retail theft charge in St. Clair County in December, according to authorities.

Carter’s attorneys had twice asked for new judges for his case, and both requests were granted. Judge substitutions are allowed twice in first-degree murder trials in Illinois, and it’s a common tactic in Winnebago County.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, https://www.rrstar.com


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