Darren Deon Vann, suspected serial killer, speaks at 2nd court appearance

CROWN POINT, Ind. (WLS) -- The last time Darren Deon Vann went to court, the alleged serial killer refused to speak. The convicted sex offender who Indiana police say confessed to killing seven women appeared before a Lake County judge for a second time on Wednesday morning - and this time, he spoke.

It was a marked departure from last week, when Vann refused to say a single word. In handcuffs and leg irons, he answered a number of perfunctory questions, politely and clearly. He stated his date of birth, criminal history, and that he understood the charges against him.

It's not clear why Vann chose to speak now when he refused last week, but he did object to his initial hearing being held last week inside a courtroom in the jail. Wednesday morning's hearing was held in a public courtroom.

Vann entered a preliminary plea of "not guilty" to the two murder charges filed against him thus far. At the same time, there are seven families hungering for answers beyond the basics.

Marvin Clinton set up a memorial to his daughter Teaira Batey just outside the abandoned Gary home where her body was found almost two weeks ago. Marvin comes here every day to sit and think and wonder what life could have been for his daughter and her now 2-year-old son Travon.

"I just think of the good things about Teaira. I don't think about the negative, Mr. Vaughn or Vann. It's all about Teaira when I come here," said Clinton.

Clinton did not go to Vann's court appearance Wednesday. No relatives of victims did. But once Vann is formally charged in the death of Teaira Batey, Marvin says he'll go to court every day, every time the case is called. And he's going to keep coming back to this house until it's torn down.

"I just don't want nobody to forget about this. It's heart breaking for a lot of people and I don't want all of this to be for nothing. I don't want it to ever be forgotten," Clinton said.

There is no word on when more charges will be filed against Vann. There's still a gag order in effect, so police can't publicly discuss it.

Vann did make clear by way of his attorney that he has no desire to speak to police, though initially he did quite a bit of that.

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