Man Accused Of Killing Danville Officer Pleads Not Guilty

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A man accused of killing a Danville Police Officer pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday.

32-year-old Herschel Jones III was indicted on 10 counts, including aggravated murder, in connection to the shooting death of Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell last month.

Additional charges of aggravated burglary, kidnapping and grand theft were brought against Jones in connection to a November burglary.

Officers believe Jones donned camo and a mask and broke into a Mount Vernon home November 13, the homeowner was caught off guard.

Two guns were taken from the burglary. Investigators say one of them was the weapon used to kill Officer Cottrell.

The judge denied Jones bond and ordered him to remain incarcerated.

“These are obviously severe charges; we're talking about the death of a police officer," Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville said. "Mr. Jones has a criminal record here in Knox County that's pretty well known, he also has failures to appear on his record and he was on post-conviction release at the time of his arrest."

Jones is being represented by public defenders. His lead attorney says he's only talked briefly to his client and says it's too early to talk about the next steps in this case.

“I don't know what they are, we'll file some motions in the next few days and I don't know what'll happen after that,” attorney Bill Mooney said.

McConville said, since this is a death penalty case, he expects it to be a long trial, probably no court date for at least a year.

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