A Souderton man accused in the rape and murder of his 9-year-old neighbor will waive a preliminary court hearing next week, in part because of concerns for his safety, his attorney said Thursday.

James Lee Troutman has remained in a one-man cell since his arrest for the slaying of Skyler Kauffman last week. And while he has been treated well in jail, lawyer Craig Penglase said he worried about exposing his client to a public setting so soon after a crime that drew such a visceral response from the suburban Philadelphia community.

Troutman is expected to put in his court appearance Monday from the Montgomery County Correctional Facility via videoconference. The district courtroom in which he was originally scheduled to appear sits across the street from the scene of his purported crime.

"I understand that this is an emotional case that involves the death of a child, but when a mob mentality is started people get hurt," Penglase said. "I just ask people to keep an open mind at this point."

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