Grayden Denham, accused in the shooting deaths of his grandparents, sister and nephew, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning in Platte County Circuit Court.
Denham looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as Judge James Van Amburg read the 12-count indictment. His mother, Shelly Denham, declined to comment afterward.
The next hearing in the case was set for 9 a.m. Aug. 4.
A grand jury June 24 indicted Denham in the deaths and also charged him with animal abuse for allegedly shooting the family dog, arson for allegedly setting fire to the home at 4170 Buena Vista Road in rural Platte County and tampering with physical evidence by allegedly destroying the bodies of the victims and the residence.
Never miss a local story.
For weeks, Denham, 24, was identified as the primary person of interest in the Feb. 19 deaths of his grandparents Russell Denham, 82, and Shirley Denham, 81; his sister Heather Ager, 32; and her son, Mason Schiavoni. All were found outside a home near Edgerton.
He remains in custody in the Platte County Detention Center, with bond set at $4 million.
Denham had already been charged with theft for allegedly taking his grandparents’ car without permission and driving it about 1,200 miles to Seligman, Ariz., where police arrested him as he walked around naked.
Authorities found Russell Denham’s body east of the house near a small shed. The bodies of Shirley Denham, Ager and Mason were found in front of the house.
Each of the bodies, including the dog’s, was burning when firefighters arrived, Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen said at a news conference to announce the charges Monday. They had to put out the flames on the bodies, he said.
Details of what led to the shooting and fire have not been released because the case was presented to a grand jury, Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said. His office will determine later whether to seek the death penalty.