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2 accused in attack on veteran plead not guilty

86-year-old survived having throat cut in robbery, police say

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man and woman accused in an attack on a Neptune Beach veteran in April pleaded not guilty Wednesday to their respective charges in Duval County court.

Police said Douglas Cercy, 34, Jennifer Schulte, 37, and Ray Jones, 21, lured Melvin Clark to a Westsie hotel, where they kidnapped him and forced him to withdraw money from an ATM before driving him to a dirt road, slashing his throat and leaving him to die.

Clark, 86, survived the ordeal, crawled out of a ditch and was found by a good Samaritan.

Police said the trio stole Clark's SUV and were later caught at a Boca Raton bus station.

Jones pleaded not guilty last month to attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery charges.

Cercy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to those same charges.

Schulte, who was initially charged with attempted murder also, is no longer facing that charge. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday to kidnapping and armed robbery.

Schulte and Cercy could each face life in prison if convicted on their charges.

The State Attorney's Office filed a notice that it will prosecute Cercy as a habitual felony offender.

Cercy is scheduled to be back in court June 28. Schulte will be back in court July 13. Jones will be back in court June 15.

All three are being held without bond.