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Judge orders accused cop killer Brian Fitch held without bail

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The man accused of killing a Mendota Heights police officer made his first court appearance on Friday dressed in a hospital gown, handcuffed to a wheelchair with a cast on one arm.

KARE 11 reports Dakota County Judge Mary Thiesen ordered Brian Fitch, 39, to be held without bail on a probation violation – making his $3 million bail on murder charges moot.

Fitch is facing two counts of first-degree murder and several other charges in Dakota County. Prosecutors allege that he shot and killed Officer Scott Patrick during a routine traffic stop in West St. Paul on July 30.

During his arrest later that day, Fitch was involved in a standoff with police where he was shot eight times. Fitch had been hospitalized since.

Multiple media reports indicate that at times during his hearing Friday, Fitch appeared to be lethargic and sleepy. He did not speak and his head slumped onto his chest.

According to the Pioneer Press, Fitch's defense attorney, Lauri Traub, questioned if he was even coherent enough to understand the proceedings.

However, prosecutors told the judge Fitch had conversed with officers earlier in the day and Thiesen agreed.

"I think it is his choice to be acting like this," she said.

Fitch, who had been kept under guard at a St. Paul hospital was moved to the Dakota County jail earlier Friday. The Star Tribune reports Traub requested he be sent to a state Department of Corrections facility with advanced medical care.

Court documents say that Fitch told an ex-girlfriend the day before the incident that he was prepared to shoot an officer if he was pulled over.

Patrick was a 19-year veteran of the Mendota Heights police force. He died after being shot in the leg, abdomen and head.

Thousands turned out to mourn for Patrick during his funeral last week.

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