An 18-year-old Kentucky man pleaded not guilty Thursday in a two-week crime spree he allegedly went on with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said. Dalton Hayes was returned to Kentucky earlier Thursday and was being held on $250,000 cash bail pending a hearing next week on eight charges including burglary and second-degree rape.
Hayes and the girl, whom NBC News isn't identifying because she's a minor, were reported missing Jan. 3 in Kentucky and were arrested Saturday night in Panama City, Florida. Authorities said they led police on a chase through Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, stealing three cars — including one that held two handguns — along the way. Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins told NBC station WAVE of Louisville that the girl had also been returned to Kentucky and that no details of any possible charges would be released because of her minor status.
Earlier in the day, the girl's mother also appeared in Grayson County District Court to be arraigned on a charge of custodial interference for allegedly taking the girl from her father's home without custodial rights. A not guilty plea was entered in her behalf, and she was held on $50,000 cash bail, according to court records.
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— M. Alex Johnson