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By Pippi Mayfield, Published February 26 2009

Suspect in Deputy Dewey case pleads not guilty

Daniel Kurt Vernier has pleaded not guilty in the case against him involving the shooting of Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Dewey.

Vernier, 27, appeared in court this morning in Mahnomen, Minn., for his Rule 8 hearing. He has been charged with 16 felonies and one misdemeanor.

At a Rule 8 hearing, a defendant may enter a plea. If a not guilty plea is entered, the court issues a schedule for upcoming court hearings.

Thomas Lee Fairbanks, 33, who has been charged with 22 criminal charges in the same case including attempted murder, will appear in court at 9 a.m. March 5.

According to Mahnomen County Attorney Julie Bruggeman, Fairbanks’ court date was pushed back due to finding a public defender.

Vernier is being represented by a state public defender, while Fairbanks is being represented by a public defender through the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation.

Vernier is being held on $500,000 bail and Fairbanks’ bail is $1 million. Vernier’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 10.