GOSHEN – An Elkhart County teenager accused of beating an elderly woman to death has pleaded not guilty.
17-year-old Luis Bailey is charged with the December 21 murder of 76-year-old Norma Hopper and made his initial hearing in Goshen Circuit Court on Thursday.
Bailey's attorney entered a preliminary plea of 'not guilty' on his client's behalf.
According to a release from the prosecutor's office, Hopper called police at 3 a.m. on December 21, saying someone was ringing her doorbell.
The release says officers arrived at the home on Michael Dr. about a half-hour later and found no one suspicious around the house.
Hopper's niece says police spoke to her aunt before leaving and determined she was okay.
Seven hours later, a family member found her dead.
Family of Hopper was in the courtroom to hear Bailey's 'not guilty' plea.
A status conference hearing has been set for March 28 with Bailey's trial scheduled to start on April 8.
Bailey is being held in the Elkhart County Jail without bond.