By Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A teenager charged in the shooting deaths of his parents, sister and a family friend when he was 16 has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges.

A lawyer for Scott Kologi, 18, entered the pleas during a court hearing Monday. He initially was charged as a juvenile in the shootings that occurred at his family’s Long Branch home on New Year’s Eve in 2017, but the case was moved to adult court last November.

Kologi was 16 when 42-year-old Steven Kologi and 44-year-old Linda Kologi were killed along with their 18-year-old daughter, Brittany, and 70-year-old Mary Schulz. Authorities say the defendant’s brother and grandfather and another friend were in the house at the time of the shooting but escaped unharmed.

Authorities haven’t disclosed a possible motive for the slayings.

Defense attorneys sought in December to have Kologi transferred to a psychiatric facility, but a judge ordered him to remain behind bars pending trial. They have said Kologi’s mental health issues included a history of hallucinations, autism and “distorted thinking.”

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