JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -- A suburban Chicago man accused of killing his wife and three children made his first court appearance in Illinois Thursday and remains jailed in Will County on a suicide watch.
Prosecutors on Thursday dropped four charges against Christopher Vaughn, but he remains charged with four counts of first-degree murder. They say they reduced the murder charges in the interest of clarity.
During the brief hearing in Joliet, Vaughn appeared in court via a video hook-up.
His defense attorneys told the judge that he plans to plead not guilty.
Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas says Vaughn is being held in the jail's medical section, where his mental condition is being evaluated.
Vaughn's family was found shot to death on June 14 in an SUV parked near Channahon, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)