- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

DURANT, Miss. (AP) - A Feb. 12 trial has been set for a Mississippi man in the 2016 killing of two nuns who worked as nurse practitioners in one of the poorest parts of the U.S.

Rodney Earl Sanders was indicted on capital murder, sexual assault, burglary and grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty Friday.

District Attorney Akillie Malone Oliver will not say whether she will seek the death penalty. The victims’ families have spoken against it, but Malone Oliver tells The Associated Press that the crimes were harsh.

Sanders’ defense attorney, Alva Taylor, declined to comment. Sanders remains in the Holmes County jail, without bond.

The bodies of Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, both 68, were found Aug. 25, 2016, in their Durant home after they failed to show up at work.

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