Suspect in 1992 slaying of teacher's aide pleads not guilty

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A man charged with raping and killing a Massachusetts teacher's aide after abducting her from her night job in 1992 has pleaded not guilty.

Gary Schara was held without bail after pleading not guilty Thursday in Hampden Superior Court to murder, aggravated rape and kidnapping charges in the death of 24-year-old Lisa Ziegert (ZEE'-guhrt). He has been held since pleading guilty to similar charges in district court.

Ziegert was a teacher's aide at Agawam Middle School when she disappeared from the card and gift store where she was working alone. Her body was found in a nearby wooded area four days later.

Schara was arrested in September after testing confirmed his DNA matched evidence found at the crime scene.

Schara's public defender did not contest bail and did not comment.

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