DECATUR — Ryan D. Waters, accused of being part of a plot to rob and murder a man in Decatur who wanted to buy drugs, entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday in Macon County Circuit Court.

Waters, 20, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder but denies his alleged role in the shooting death of 22-year-old Zachary Hubbartt of Windsor. Prosecutors have said Hubbartt wanted to buy cannabis and was lured to Decatur on Aug. 27 on the pretext he would be able to purchase the drug. Police found his dead body in an empty house in the 1200 block of East Condit Street; he had been shot multiple times.

Waters is accused of being part of the deception, meeting with Hubbartt while pretending he had cannabis for sale. The Macon County State's Attorney's Office said Waters was present when Hubbartt was shot to death by another Decatur man, Jason A. White, 27. White is also pleading not guilty to murder charges.

Waters, who is being held in custody, appeared before Judge Phoebe S. Bowers in a gray striped Macon County Jail jumpsuit. Through his attorney, Monica Hawkins, Waters said he wished to waive his right to a preliminary hearing that would have determined whether there had been probable cause for his arrest.

“You wish to waive that right today and plead not guilty and set your case over for a pre-trial hearing? Is that what you wish to do?” asked the judge.

“Yes, ma'am,” Waters replied.

That pretrial hearing is now set for Nov. 20. Waters remains in custody.

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Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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