The man accused of snatching two boys – one from Washington County, the other from Franklin County – has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping 13-year-old Ben Ownby of Beaufort on January 8th. Michael Devlin made a closed-circuit television court appearance, today, in Franklin County. The judge has set a preliminary hearing for March 15th. But the preliminary hearing might not be necessary, as the prosecutor has said he will take the case to a grand jury next month.
Devlin’s defense attorneys say they plan to seek a change of venue for the trial. Devlin also faces charges in nearby Washington County, where he is accused of taking Shawn Hornbeck in October of 2002.