PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The 17-year-old Houston County girl charged with murdering her sister and setting her parents house on fire over the summer pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
Carmen Collins' parents sat in the first row of the courtroom. Her lawyer Nick White tells 41NBC they were tearful going into today's hearing.
Carmen walked by her parents expressionless and up to Judge Katherine Lumsden's bench, there she pleaded not guilty to a burglary and theft charge. Those crimes were committed at the end of February.
Her second not-guilty plea surrounds the death of her 12-year-old sister India. Collins faces two counts of murder, two counts of possession of a firearm, and one count each of aggravated assault and first degree arson.
"I feel confident with the defense, and it would be inappropriate of me to name names but it's fair to say that we think others were involved, and I think that will exonerate my client," White told us.
Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig says he's not surprised this case is going to trial.
"I think it's pretty standard procedure. This is a case we'll get in the courtroom we'll present the evidence in court, and we look forward to it," Hartwig told 41NBC.
White would not elaborate any further on how he plans to defend Collins. Hartwig says this case will likely go to trial sometime in February or March of 2013.