Man accused of Hickman mayor's death pleads not guilty - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man accused of Hickman mayor's death pleads not guilty

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Tommy Lattus (Source: Fulton Co. Detention Center) Tommy Lattus (Source: Fulton Co. Detention Center)
Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy (Source: Hickman Courier editor Charlotte Smith) Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy (Source: Hickman Courier editor Charlotte Smith)
Mayor Charles Murphy's home Mayor Charles Murphy's home
HICKMAN, KY (KFVS) -

The man charged with the murder of Hickman, Kentucky's mayor pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Fulton County Court.

The court in Fulton County on Tuesday entered an automatic not guilty plea for Thomas Joseph "Tommy" Lattus on a charge of murder.

Tommy Lattus, 30, is accused of killing 68-year-old Charles Murphy with a shotgun Monday morning.

Police found Murphy's body in the bedroom of his home after police say Lattus told them he shot and killed Murphy.

Police Chief Tony Grogan says Lattus walked into a police station early Monday and said he'd shot Murphy, who had dated his adoptive mother.

Grogan said Lattus broke into the side door of Murphy's house and killed him.

He's currently being held at the Fulton County Jail.

Lattus will be represented by Dennis Null.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m.

His case was scheduled for noon.  However, court officials say they were concerned about his safety because emotions are running high following the murder of the town's mayor. So, the schedule had to be adjusted.

Murphy was in his second term as mayor and had served earlier terms on the city board. He was also a retired school principal and farmer.

Visitation and funeral services have been finalized for Mayor Charles Murphy.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, visitation will be held at West Baptist Church in Hickman.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at West Baptist Church in Hickman.

The public is welcome.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All Rights Reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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