A teenage boy pleaded not guilty this week to fatally stabbing an 86-year-old Lancaster woman in her bed during a robbery last year.

Tony Donnell Brown, 15, of Lancaster is being prosecuted as an adult in the murder of Annie Margaret Bell whose body was discovered June 18 at her home in the 44600 block of Stillwater Drive. The murder charges include the special circumstance that Bell was killed during the commission of a burglary, along with an allegation that the teen used a knife during the crime.

Brown’s age prevents prosecutors from seeking the death penalty. If convicted of murder and two counts of first-degree burglary with a person present, Brown faces up to 26 years to life in prison.

Brown was 14 when he allegedly broke into the woman’s home and stabbed her multiple times while she was lying in bed, according to Steven Frankland, head deputy of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Antelope Valley office. Neighbors told detectives that a person matching the description of the suspect was possibly hiding in some nearby bushes, leading to the teen’s arrest.

Brown is scheduled to return to a Lancaster courtroom on Jan. 27 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.