EFFINGHAM -- The uncle accused of killing 7-year-old Willow Long pleads not guilty.
Justin DeRyke, 22, entered a not guilty plea during his pre-trial hearing Thursday afternoon. He is charged with three counts of first degree murder and is represented by a public defender.
Effingham County State's Attorney, Bryan Kibler, wouldn't comment on other possible future charges Thursday. He said it's still a very active investigation.
"Investigators are still having to interview people and they're still trying to tie up loose ends," Kibler said.
If convicted, DeRyke will serve a mandatory life sentence. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for October 22.