(Springfield News-Leader) – Dr. David Smock, a physician charged late last month with 11 felony sex crimes against children in connection with his role as Agape Boarding School doctor, pleaded not guilty to the three charges originating from Greene County on Thursday.

Judge Ron Carrier set a preliminary hearing in the case for Feb. 3.

Meanwhile, Smock and his defense attorneys are still waiting to learn whether Carrier will let him out of jail on bond while Smock’s trial is pending. After nearly 90 minutes of argument by prosecution and defense attorneys Thursday, the judge said he would take the bond matter under advisement and planned to issue a written ruling later.

New details about the case emerged during Thursday’s hearing.

Smock’s attorneys, Stacie Bilyeu and Craig Heidemann, argued that Smock had not been a fugitive from law enforcement before he was apprehended late last month by U.S. Marshals, but that he had been in contact with his attorneys and had planned to surrender himself to face charges in Missouri before contracting COVID-19 and being taken into custody in Boone County, Arkansas.

Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Megan Vincent countered that argument, saying there had not been a definite agreement with defense attorneys for Smock to appear in court at a certain time. “He was absolutely in no rush to come back (to Missouri),” Vincent said.

To read more, click here.