Church shooter tries to change not guilty plea

Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 3:47 p.m. CDT; updated 5:13 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 26, 2009

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The attorney for a man accused of fatally shooting a pastor through the heart during his Sunday sermon has entered a not guilty plea on the man's behalf — despite his client's attempt to plead guilty.

Twenty-seven-year-old Terry Sedlacek appeared for an arraignment via video Thursday from his Madison County jail cell. He was indicted hours earlier on first-degree murder charges in the death of the Rev. Fred Winters.

Public defender John Rekowski entered a not guilty plea for Sedlacek.

Sedlacek, on a closed-circuit television, then spoke up and told the judge he wanted to plead guilty.

But the judge said the previous not guilty plea would stand.

Authorities say Sedlacek killed Winters at First Baptist Church in Maryville during a March 8 service as the congregation watched.


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