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Not guilty pleas in killing

The Hyrum man accused of killing 15-year-old Trisha Ann Autry pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Monday to several charges relating to Autry's July 2000 death.

Cody Lynn Nielsen entered the not-guilty pleas to eight charges, including capital murder, first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping and second-degree felony forcible sex abuse.

Nielsen had previously pleaded guilty to the murder charge as part of an arrangement to save himself from the death penalty, but he withdrew those guilty pleas and now wants to go to trial.

On Monday, 1st District Judge Clint Judkins scheduled a nearly three-week jury trial to begin Jan. 6, 2004. He also scheduled a four-day sentencing hearing to begin Jan. 27, should Nielsen be convicted at trial.

The Cache County Attorney's Office has said it intends to pursue the death penalty against Nielsen.

One of Nielsen's longtime defense attorneys, David Perry, has asked to be removed from the case, citing a conflict of interest. Judkins declined to rule on that motion Monday, instead instructing Perry to provide more information before a Sept. 29 motion hearing.