SOUDERTON, Pa. (CBS) – A 24-year-old Souderton man is headed to trial in Montgomery County on charges he raped and murdered his nine-year-old neighbor earlier this month (see related story).

Prosecutors say this will be a death penalty case.

Through a video hookup from the county prison, James Troutman waived his preliminary hearing today. That means he will stand trial on charges he raped and murdered Skyler Kauffman two weeks ago in the basement of their apartment complex, in Souderton.

Prosecutors say he molested the little girl, then strangled her and put her body in a dumpster.

Watch the video…

Montgomery County district attorney Risa Ferman says they will pursue the death penalty in this case.

“If ever there was a case where it was appropriate for the Commonwealth to seek the death penalty, this is it,” DA Ferman said today.  “It’s a brutal sexual assault and murder of a nine-year-old child.”

Troutman pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include first-degree murder, rape, and kidnapping.

Defense attorney Craig Penglase has said he will explore mental health issues when building his case.

Troutman’s next court date is set for mid-July.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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