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Man pleads innocent in 2004 killing

A Lincoln County man pleaded innocent Monday to capital murderin connection with the January 2004 killing of convenience storeowner John Deere.

Kenneth Baggett Jr., of 2471 Lake Lincoln Dr., was formallyarraigned before Judge Mike Taylor in Lincoln County Circuit Court.During the March grand jury term, Baggett was indicted on a capitalmurder charge in the shooting death of Deere at the Airport Pik& Pak on Jan. 16, 2004.

“A status conference in his case is set for June 13,” saidCircuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins about Baggett. “At that time,they’ll set a date for his trial.”

Watkins said a bond hearing is scheduled for May 11. Baggett hasbeen in jail since his early June 2004 arrest in the case.

Deere’s body was found in the Airport Pik & Pak parking lotafter the sheriff’s department received a 911 call around 5 a.m. onJan. 16, 2004. Authorities believe the shooting happened shortlyafter Deere, 55, arrived to start the business day.

A cash box that was taken in the incident was later recoveredalong Interstate 55. In February of this year, divers searched LakeDixie Springs in an effort to find the gun believed to have beenused in the incident.

Authorities have not commented on the results on the search,citing a gag order that has been in effect since shortly afterBaggett’s arrest.

Baggett’s attorney, Leslie Roussell of Waynesboro, wasunavailable for comment.