BUFFALO, Mo. – James Phelps, one of the men charged in connection with the death of Cassidy Rainwater entered a not guilty plea Thursday morning in Dallas County.

Phelps is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and abandonment of a corpse. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Phelps’ public defender Tom Jacquinot filed a motion to dismiss the charge of abandonment of a corpse. Jacquinot is still objecting to the abandonment of a corpse charge.

Timothy Norton, who is also charged in connection with Rainwater’s death, has a criminal setting scheduled for July 26, 2022. Norton faces the same charges as Phelps and has also pleaded not guilty.

Cassidy Rainwater’s remains were found on a property where Phelps lived. Phelps and Norton were arrested in September and charged with the kidnapping of Cassidy Rainwater. Rainwater was last seen in July and was reported missing in late August.