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First 2008 murder case progressing
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 The man charged with the first murder of 2008 in Newton County entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday in Newton County Superior Court.

 Courtney Thornton, 25, who is facing 10 counts including murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen property, appeared briefly for an arraignment before Judge Eugene Benton.

 Thornton allegedly shot Dennis Rogers, 38, in the back of the head on Jan . 1 while the two were passengers in a green 2001 Jaguar S-class. The driver of the vehicle reportedly escaped and flagged Newton County Sheriff's deputies, who found Rogers slumped over but still alive in the car.

 Rogers was life-flighted to Atlanta Medical Center but died on Jan. 4. Thornton was arrested in DeKalb County on Jan. 5.