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Man Pleads Not Guilty in Killing of Female Hikers at National Park

April 26, 2002|Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A man serving jail time for trying to abduct a female bicyclist pleaded not guilty Thursday in the slashing deaths of two female hikers in a federal park.

Darrell David Rice, 34, of Columbia, Md., is charged with four counts of capital murder in the 1996 slayings. Laura Winans, 26, and Julianne Williams, 24, were found bound and gagged at a secluded campsite in Shenandoah National Park along the Appalachian Trail.

Investigators described Rice as a violent misogynist who told the women they "deserved to die because they were lesbian," according to court documents.

Fred Heblich, Rice's lawyer, would not comment on specifics of the case Thursday.

In 1998, Rice pleaded guilty to an unrelated abduction charge for trying to force a bicyclist into his truck and attempting to run her over. He was sentenced to 136 months in prison.

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