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Teens enter not guilty pleas in Mincy case

COVINGTON - A teen accused of inadvertently killing his girlfriend at a construction site off U.S. Highway 278 earlier this year pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Tuesday in Newton County Superior Court.

The defendant, Kyle Blake Holland, 18, of Social Circle, was indicted earlier this month on charges of involuntary manslaughter, theft by taking and criminal trespass in connection with the death of 16-year-old Kerri Mincy.

Three others arrested in connection with the case - Cody Lee Smith, 17, of Covington; Tony Joe Burnett, 20, of Monticello; and Jeffrey Cantrell, 18, of Newborn - also pleaded not guilty to charges of theft by taking and criminal trespass on Tuesday.

Authorities say that Mincy and the four defendants arrived at the Stanton Springs Technology Park construction site on the evening of Sept. 30, and started up some of the heavy equipment.

Mincy, a junior at Monticello High School, was reportedly riding with Holland on the side of one of the front-end loaders at the site. At one point, however, Holland encountered a steep grade in the landscape that went into a turn, and he over corrected. As Mincy attempted to jump off the piece of construction equipment, it tilted over and crushed her.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies found Mincy dead, according to Lt. Bill Watterson, spokesman for the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com