Suspects in assaults on girl appear in court

Posted April 04, 2011, at 9:46 p.m.

LIBERTY, Texas — Six of the 19 men and boys accused of taking part in a series of sexual assaults on an 11-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Monday in a case that has horrified and divided a small Texas town.

Other defendants also appeared in court — meaning nearly all of the 14 adults charged in the case went before a judge.

The hearings Monday were brief and businesslike, with the defendants saying little, if anything. Most had family members in the large courtroom, and most defendants left after their individual cases were settled. A few of the defendants and their families stayed throughout the hearings.

The six indicted individuals — Tyrone Ellis Jr., 19; Devo Green, 20; Carlos Ligons, 22; Jamarcus Napper, 18; Walter Harrison, 26; and Cedrick Scott, 27 — entered their not guilty pleas during arraignment hearings.

Seven others who previously had pleaded not guilty — Timothy Ellis; Kelvin King, 21; Xavier King, 17; Eric McGowen, 19; Jared McPherson, 18; Marcus Porchia, 26; and Isaiah Ross, 21 — were also in court.

All had their next court hearings set for July 6, except for Ligons, who was set to appear again on May 2.

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