A woman accused of accountability and conspiracy in the beating death of a 25-year-old Hamilton man made her first appearance in Ravalli County District Court.

Choking back tears, Candace Elizabeth Sullivan pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said Robert L. Thaut was stomped to death at his home on Hamilton's south side.

Thaut struggled with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism.

Sullivan's husband, Richard Sullivan pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in Thaut's death last week.

Records said if had Thaut received medical attention after the beating he probably would have survived.

Thaut's grandmother, Judith Mendoza, came to court wearing her grandson's favorite colors. On her shirt was a picture of Thaut.

"I just wanted to wear Robert with me because I keep him over my heart," said Mendoza.