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Man accused of killing officer Patrick pleads not guilty; trial date set

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The man accused of fatally shooting Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick in July entered a not guilty plea as expected Monday.

Brian Fitch Sr., 39, is charged with crimes including first-degree murder stemming from the July shooting death of 47-year-old Patrick during a traffic stop and a subsequent shootout with police in St. Paul.

Monday's hearing lasted about 10 minutes, the Star Tribune reports.

Monday's omnibus hearing was expected to determine what evidence and testimony is admissible in the case when it goes to trial, KSTP reports. Last month, Fitch's attorneys filed a motion to request that an interview conducted after his arrest not be allowed in court. In that interview, Fitch told an officer, “Just to let you know, I hate cops and I'm guilty," FOX 9 says.

Fitch's attorneys argued Monday that the statement was obtained before he was read his Miranda rights.

Fitch's defense has also asked for the trial to be moved out of the Twin Cities because of the news coverage surrounding the shooting.

An omnibus hearing that was scheduled for December has been pushed up to Nov. 17 so the trial, set for Jan. 12, can start on time, WCCO reports.

Fitch, who is being held without bail, was in a wheelchair at Monday's hearing. He was injured during a shootout with police before his arrest. Fitch's attorney said she didn't know how he is doing physically of why he was in a wheelchair because she hadn't spoken with his medical providers, WCCO says.

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