EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) – A change has been made in the trial date for an Illinois man accused in the death of his niece.
Justin DeRyke will now go to trial on April 7 in Effingham County, Illinois. Investigators say DeRyke admitted to police he stabbed 7-year-old Willow Long in the heart and slit her throat.
But, he pleaded not guilty.
DeRyke faces first degree murder charges in Long’s death. If convicted on any of the charges, DeRyke faces a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison.