The father of a 10-year-old girl found dead in a footlocker a year ago pleaded not guilty to a felony child abuse charge Monday morning.
David Deal, 52, will again appear in Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday on drug possession charges.
Deal was arrested July 9 in connection with the death of Ame Deal, who died after being locked in a footlocker a year ago.
Deal was first arrested July 6, but he was released without bond during his initial appearance July 7.
However, on July 9, a Maricopa County grand jury indicted Deal on the felony child abuse charges and he was arrested again while driving away from his residence in a loaded U-Haul.
Deal's next court date on the child abuse charges will be Aug. 30.
A neighbor at the Colony apartments in Phoenix, where he was seen packing up his belongings just before his latest arrest, told CBS 5 News that Deal had been living there for several months with his girlfriend, Deborah Allen, and her sister. She said he was often seen riding his bike and didn't talk much with his neighbors.
Ame Deal suffocated to death after being padlocked inside a small footlocker as punishment for taking a Popsicle without permission.
All six people arrested in connection with the girl's death were members of her "so-called" family.
Phoenix police said the 52-year-old father is allegedly the first family member to have confined his daughter for punishment.
He told investigators she was a "Pillsbury Doughboy-looking thing" and claimed her mental problems frustrated others. He denied being Ame's father.
The girl's cousins, Samantha and John Allen, face the death penalty for allegedly locking her in the small box, where she died in July 2011.
Her aunt, grandmother and another relative all face several abuse charges. They are accused of beating and torturing the little girl for years.
Deal was being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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