Man pleads not guilty in death of 3-year-old Senath girl

Thursday, December 15, 2011 | 8:01 a.m. CST; updated 9:53 a.m. CST, Thursday, December 15, 2011

KENNETT — A southeast Missouri man faces trial in February after pleading not guilty to killing a 3-year-old girl who was his neighbor.

Shawn Morgan of Senath is charged with first-degree murder, child kidnapping and other counts in connection with the abduction and killing of Breeann Rodriguez. She disappeared in August while riding her small pink bike with training wheels in front of her home.

Morgan allegedly confessed to killing her after finding her near his backyard above-ground pool. A motive hasn't been disclosed. Her body was found days later a few miles south of Senath.

KFVS-TV reported that Morgan entered the not-guilty plea Wednesday as about two dozen members of the girl's family watched from the courtroom. 

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