Stanley Chatman, Quentin Nixon and Dayjuan Tuggle are all charged with capital murder and attempted murder. Crystal Nelson is charged with two counts of felony murder. They are accused of breaking into a home, killing Jonathan and Jeremie Berry and then trying to kill their mother Latasha, who is paralyzed as a result of her injuries.
All four suspects entered pleas of not guilty. Family members of the victims also attended the hearing.
"It was very hard looking in their faces," Alicia Thomas, the twins' great-aunt, said. "I want to tell you that. We tried to be Christians but that was very hard to do. I'm still shaking."
Three of the four defendants have court-appointed attorneys, including Chatman, who will have five attorneys working on his case. Three of them are working pro bono.
"It has nothing to do with the magnitude of the charges or the offenses," Emory Anthony, Chatman's attorney, said. "It's an opportunity for young attorneys to qualify to do capital murder cases and that's the only reason he has five."
This isn't the first time Chatman has faced murder charges. In 2005, he was tried for murder and convicted of a lesser crime. In March 2013, Chatman was charged with murder again and was out on bond when police say he killed the Berry twins.
But Anthony says Chatman's past should not play a role in the present case.
"I guess the best question is for the state to show why they charged the young man," Anthony said. "His history, right now, has no bearing on the offenses."