Man pleads not guilty in Southern Illinois church attack

Thursday, November 19, 2009

JONESBORO, Ill. -- A man accused of trying to kill two women in a Southern Illinois church says he didn't do it.

Willis Bates, 45, of Anna, Ill., pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Union County to charges of attempted murder, burglary and felony theft in the Sept. 28 violence at the First Baptist Church of Anna.

Sixty-nine-year-old church secretary Mary Shepard was injured along with a 76-year-old cleaning woman, Leona Mount.

Bates' pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 8.

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