The Latest: California dad pleads not guilty in kids' deaths

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Posted: Sep 18, 2017 5:53 PM
The Latest: California dad pleads not guilty in kids' deaths

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the killing of three California children (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A father charged with murder in the deaths of his three children has pleaded not guilty.

Yolo County authorities say 32-year-old Robert William Hodges entered the not guilty plea Monday during his first court appearance.

He was charged earlier in the day with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 11-year-old Kelvin Hodges, 9-year-old Julie Hodges and Lucas Hodges, nearly eight months.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said the two older children were killed with a belt but would not say how it was used or give other details, including a motive.

Prosecutors also charged Hodges with the attempted murder of his wife.

Deputy public defender Ron Johnson, who represented Hodges, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

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12:53 p.m.

Prosecutors have charged a father with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his children, saying a belt was used in two of the killings.

Prosecutors filed the charges Monday against 32-year-old Robert William Hodges in the deaths of 11-year-old Kelvin Hodges, 9-year-old Julie Hodges and Lucas Hodges, nearly eight months.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said the two older children were killed with a belt but would not say how it was used or give other details, including a motive.

Prosecutors also charged Hodges with the attempted murder of his wife.

Officials have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty if Robert Hodges is convicted.

Hodges is expected to make his first court appearance later in the day. It was unclear if he has an attorney yet.