Madeline Soto: Arraignment for Stephan Sterns, man accused of killing girlfriend's daughter, canceled Monday

UPDATE: Stephan Sterns' arraignment on Monday has been canceled, an Osceola County court administrator told FOX 35. A pre-trial hearing is set for July 10, and the trial is scheduled to begin on July 16, court records show. 

Original story continues below video:

The Florida man accused of killing his girlfriend's daughter, 13-year-old Madeline Soto, has a court hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Stephan Sterns is expected to appear before an Osceola County judge for an arraignment, during which he will be formally advised of the criminal charges filed against him and have the opportunity to enter a guilty, not guilty or no contest plea.

Last week, Sterns was indicted by a grand jury on a first-degree murder charge in Madeline's death, nearly two months after her body was found in rural Osceola County. 

The indictment said Sterns allegedly killed Madeline between Feb. 25 and Feb. 27, 2024. Her body was found days later, on March 1. 


Stephan Stearns (left) is charged with sexual battery with a child, capital sexual battery, and possession of material depicting sexual performance by a child. The charges stemmed from the search for Madeline "Maddie" Soto (right).

RELATED: Stephan Sterns gets new trial date after judge grants defense's motion for more time

Sterns, who has waived court appearances on separate charges of child porn possession, sexual battery of a child and lewd or lascivious molestation, also waived his first appearance last week on the murder charge.

Madeline was reported missing on Feb. 26 after her mother, Jenn Soto, went to pick her up from school at Hunter's Creek Middle School and was told that her daughter was not in class that day. Officials previously said they do not believe Madeline ever made it to school that day.

MORE: Could Madeline Soto's mother Jenn Soto be charged for murder post-Stephan Sterns indictment?

Details on how "Maddie" was killed or what happened to her have not been released, including her autopsy report, citing the ongoing investigation. Officials were unable to answer many questions about facts related to the case, citing the ongoing investigation. 

"The evidence shows an individual that was entrusted to keep Madeline safe made calculated moves to dispose Madeline's belongings and place her body in a wooded area before she was ever reported missing," Kissimmee Police Chief Betty Holland said at a news conference last week.

The arraignment is expected to begin at 1:30 p.m.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.