A preliminary hearing date has been set for the Santa Cruz teen suspected of killing 8-year-old Madyson "Maddy" Middleton.
During a brief hearing Thursday, the court set a preliminary hearing date of Feb. 29 for 15-year-old Adrian Gonzalez. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which include murder, rape and sexual assault.
Gonzalez is accused of killing Middleton at their Santa Cruz apartment. Her body was found July 28 in a recycling bin at the Tannery Arts Center. She had been raped, beaten and dumped in the bin, court records show.
Supporters of the girl's family held photos of her outside of the courthouse Thursday.
"We want to make sure that she's represented here as well as the person who took her life, and we want to make sure that people see her face and to remain aware and keep an eye on their children," said Doug Sottile, a family friend.
Gonzalez's attorney said they are still sorting through evidence to present to the court.
The teen is being tried as an adult on all charges. If he's found guilty, he faces a maximum of life in prison.