Mike Roberts

Georgena Roberts

JERSEYVILLE - A Jerseyville couple has entered a plea of "not guilty" following the death of 6-year-old Liam Roberts.

Mike and Georgena Roberts, both 42 and both of Jerseyville, were each charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of endangering the life and safety of a child after 6-year-old Liam Roberts was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital Nov. 3, 2017. Each waived their right for a preliminary trial hearing as well.

"About 100 percent of people who come through here plead 'not guilty,'" Jersey County State's Attorney Ben Goetten said. "It's pretty much procedure."

A pretrial hearing will take place on Jan. 10, 2018, with a possible trial date following sometime in February, Goetten said. He added this was possibly his most notable trial in the decade he had been the Jersey County State's Attorney.

Mike and Georgena Roberts are accused of starving Liam Roberts to death by withholding food as punishment, according to court records provided at an earlier date by Goetten. Besides the death of Liam Roberts, another child, identified in documents as A.P.R., was taken to the ICU following his brother's death. A.P.R. was also extremely malnourished, according to documents.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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