Man accused in ‘brutal killing’ of 12-year-old girl pleads not guilty

Roy Coons (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Wearing handcuffs and a yellow jump suit, the man suspected of killing his 12-year-old neighbor pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning.

Roy Coons Jr., 45, was arrested last Monday and charged with the murder of Yhoana Artega. During his court appearance he was appointed a public defender.

Coons is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of first-degree felony murder, attempted rape of a child and especially aggravated burglary.

Yhoana Arteaga (Courtesy: Liberty Collegiate Academy via Facebook)

PHOTOS: Yhoana Arteaga murder

Artega’s mother came home from work on August 10 to find her daughter’s body in their mobile home. Police called her killing “brutal.”

An autopsy revealed Artega died after being strangled. The report also showed she had bruises all over her body.

Coons is being held without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 2.

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