SPRINGFIELD — A Greene County man accused of killing his mother surprised attorneys by rejecting a plea deal and for now remains charged with first-degree murder. 

Connor Cox, 22, is accused of fatally shooting his mother, Angela Cox, in February 2018 at their Greene County home. 

With a trial scheduled for April, attorneys believed they had worked out a deal for Cox to plead guilty to second-degree murder, with a recommended prison term of life with eligibility for parole in about 23 years, The Springfield News-Leader reported. 

During questioning by a judge during a plea hearing Monday, Cox said he didn't "knowingly" caused his mother's death, which is an essential element to second-degree murder. 

The plea was not accepted and Cox is still scheduled to go to trial in April for first-degree murder.