KINGSPORT, Tenn. — A Tennessee man charged in the fatal shootings of a couple and their unborn child has pleaded not guilty.

WJHL-TV reports 33-year-old Derrick Benjamin Sells appeared in court Thursday morning. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has charged Sells with several offenses, including three counts of first-degree murder.

A sheriff’s office statement says Sells was indicted in the deaths of Robert Vaughn, Kyanna Vaughn and their unborn child. They were found dead inside a mobile home Dec. 4. Two children, ages 3 and 6, were also discovered unharmed.

Sheriff’s Chief Operation Officer Leighta Laitinen tells the Johnson City Press that Sells attempted suicide by cutting his throat Tuesday, the night before his original court appearance was scheduled.

Bill Francisco has been appointed Sells’ public defender.

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