The man accused of raping and killing a little girl in Canton will remain behind bars.
Ryan Brunn, who is being held without bond, appeared before a judge Thursday for the first time since being charged. Brunn's first appearance was routine, but the case is extraordinary.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Brunn raped and murdered 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera. The girl vanished from a playground at the River Ridge Apartments last Friday. Brunn is both a neighbor and a maintenance worker at the complex.
The GBI said Brunn forced the girl into a vacant apartment, beat and sexually assaulted and stabbed her, then threw her body into a dumpster.
The accusations against Brunn have inflamed the passions of Rivera's community.
Cherokee County sheriff's deputies increased security. Brunn wore a bullet-proof vest to protect him from anyone seeking retribution.
"It's been a hot issue in the community," said Lt. Jay baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department. "We're not taking any chances. We're in charge of security, and that's why he's wearing it."
Brunn's lawyer, Darren Burns, would not answer whether his client says he's innocent or guilty. All the attorney would say was Brunn was clearly upset by the accusations against him. "He's very shaken, obviously. That's all I've got," Burns said.
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