Updated 04/06/2011 09:25 PM
Cardenas Pleads Not Guilty to Rape, Murder Charge
The Albion man accused of raping and killing his 15-year-old sister-in-law was arraigned Wednesday in Orleans County Court. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti reports on Carlos Cardenas' arraignment.
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ALBION, N.Y. -- "This is extremely disturbing what's alleged to have occurred here and obviously, we're pursuing it," said Joseph Cardone, Orleans County District Attorney.
Carlos Cardenas, 21, pleaded not guilty to two counts of 2nd degree murder, one count of 1st degree rape and one count of 3rd degree rape in Orleans County Court Wednesday.
He's accused of raping his sister-in-law Katherine Sanchez, 15, at his Albion home in January and strangling her to death.
Cardone says there are two counts of murder because the prosecution is alleging two different theories.
"Intentional murder, we're alleging that he in fact intended to kill his victim and then in addition to that, we're alleging that in the course of the commission of rape 1st, the victim was killed," said Cardone.
Cardone says theoretically, the jury could find Cardenas guilty on just one of the counts because they involve different elements.
Cardenas' bail was set at $1 million, but to keep Sanchez's family from having contact with him, they've requested orders of protection from the court.
"Whenever you talk about a murder and what has already happened to one of their loved ones, obviously we want to do everything we can do to protect the victim's family and so that's why we're asking for the orders of protection," said Cardone.
Cardone estimates the trial won't begin before late summer or early fall.