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Man Accused In Medford Woman's Death Pleads Not Guilty To Upgraded Murder Charges

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Charges have been upgraded against a man accused in the stabbing death of a young Long Island mother whose body was found in the woods last month.

Dante Taylor, 19, of Mastic pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder Thursday in court in Riverhead. He was originally charged with second-degree murder.

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Upgraded Murder Charge In Young L.I. Mother's Death

The body of Sarah Goode, 21, of Medford was found on June 12 in a wooded area about a half-mile away from her abandoned car. Sources said there were apparent signs of a struggle inside her car. One witness also said there appeared to be blood in the vehicle.

Prosecutors said Goode was raped and stabbed, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported.

Taylor was arrested in Florida earlier this month. Investigators said physical evidence, DNA, and cell phone records link Taylor to the crime.

More than two dozen relatives and friends of Goode packed the courtroom to hear the grand jury indictment of her accused killer.

Sarah Goode Supporters Leave Court
Supporters of Sarah Goode leave court in Riverhead after arraignment of Dante Taylor on upgraded charges of first degree murder on July 24, 2014. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

"He's a monster," Goode's sister- in-law, Florencia DeMuria, said. "We hope that he never lives outside of prison."

Taylor's mother, grandmother and several other relatives left court without commenting after he was ordered held without bail.

"Dante Taylor is 19 years old, he comes from an extremely supportive family," attorney Bill Petrillo said.

If convicted, Taylor faces the possibility of life without parole.

He is also charged with attempted rape in an unrelated case.

Goode was the single mother of a 4-year-old girl and a medical technician.

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