- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

MCKEE, Ky. (AP) - A man accused of killing a 5-year-old Kentucky boy after throwing his mother from a cliff has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Media report Lonnie Jay Belt appeared in Jackson County District Court on Monday to answer to the charge in the death of James Spoonamore. An arrest citation says he admitted to striking the child in the head several times with a metal object.

Belt pleaded not guilty last week to charges of kidnapping, assault and tampering with evidence related to an attack on the boy’s mother, Jessica Durham. Police say Durham was beaten and pushed off a cliff, but survived.

Police found Spoonamore’s body about a half-mile from where Durham had been located.

Belt has a preliminary court hearing set for Sept. 25.

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