SC man pleads not guilty in Ill. officer's death

PONTIAC, Ill. (AP) - A South Carolina man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with a crash that killed an on-duty Pontiac police officer last month.

The Daily Leader in Pontiac reports 33-year-old Jason C. Collins of West Columbia, S.C., entered the plea Monday in Livingston County court. Prosecutors say Collins was driving a pickup truck on Interstate 55 on Oct. 30 when his vehicle left the roadway. It struck a marked K-9 vehicle parked in a median turn around.

Twenty-nine-year-old officer Casey J. Kohlmeier was killed along with his dog, Draco.

A public defender is representing Collins, who has voluntarily waived a preliminary hearing and is requesting a jury trial. Collins is in custody. He faces three felonies and two misdemeanors.

The case is next due in court Dec. 24.

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