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Man pleads not guilty to murdering, dumping girl in barrel



The man accused of murdering nine-year-old Charlise Mutten and dumping her body in a barrel has been committed to stand trial.

Justin Laurens Stein, 32, pleaded not guilty on Friday to domestic violence-related murder and improperly interfering with a corpse.

Charlise, the daughter of Stein's then-fiancee, was allegedly killed on his family's multimillion-dollar Blue Mountains property days before she was reported missing on January 14 last year.

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A five-day search of bushland ended with her body being found in the barrel that had been dumped near the Colo River northwest of Sydney.

Police later said an autopsy found she had died of a gunshot wound.

Charlise's mother Kallista is not accused of any wrongdoing in relation to her death.

Stein appeared in Penrith Local Court by video-link to enter the not guilty pleas to charges of murder and interfering with a corpse, and was committed to stand trial in the NSW Supreme Court.

He faces arraignment in that court on July 7.

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Charlise Mutten, 9, is currently missing from Mt Wilson.

He also pleaded not guilty to two charges of possessing child abuse material and was committed to stand trial in the District Court on those charges.

His lawyer Peter Katsoolis told AAP that Stein would "vigorously defend" both cases.

Katsoolis said firearm-related charges and one charge of break and enter against Stein were still subject to negotiation in the local court.

He remains in custody after bail was refused.

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