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Judge Enters 'Not Guilty' Plea for Disruptive Bench

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STEPHENS CO., Okla_ The man accused of brutally murdering 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma returned to court Thursday.

Miles Bench had his formal arraignment Thursday, but it was anything but formal. Bench interrupted Stephens County Judge Joe Enos several times and refused to enter a plea. As a result, the judge entered a not guilty plea for him.

It seemed as if every time Judge Enos wanted to speak, so did Bench. Judge Enos was not about to lose control of his courtroom, though; every time Bench spoke, he was immediately cut off by the judge. Eventually, Bench calmed down.

It did not take long for Bench to make a statement in his formal arraignment. It was when Judge Enos addressed Bench's court appointed attorney, Gary Henry that Bench first spoke up. After that, he spoke up often. Most of Bench's interruptions in the courtroom came from the disgust Bench has with his court-appointed defense counsel. He said that he is not satisfied with his counsel, and he was not ready to enter a plea.

Judge Enos then reminded Bench that he had asked to be appointed an attorney and then asked if Bench had sought out his own representative. When Bench said he had no one to represent him yet, Judge Enos said the court will then continue to recognize Henry has his attorney. Bench still kept interrupting the judge, but each time he was cut off.

Without Bench entering his own plea, Judge Enos entered a not guilty on his own. Bench still has the option to change that plea, if he wishes, but according to his attorney, Bench will not have a chance of getting a new lawyer appointed for him. The only way Bench can get someone else to represent him is if he hires one. 

After the arraignment, District Attorney Jason Hicks issued a statement that it was too close to the trial and would have no comments. Bench is set to stand trial January 13, 2014.

Braylee's mother, Renee Henson, said the family is still focused on getting justice for Braylee. As 7News reported last night, the state plans to seek the death penalty for Bench. 

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