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Forum staff reports, Published February 27 2009

Suspect pleads not guilty in Mahnomen shooting

One man charged in the shooting of Mahnomen County (Minn.) Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Dewey pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Daniel Kurt Vernier, 27, entered the plea in the case. He has been charged with 16 felonies and one misdemeanor.

The other man charged in the case, Thomas Lee Fairbanks, 33, faces 22 criminal charges, including attempted murder. Fairbanks, originally scheduled to appear Thursday, now will appear March 5.

According to Mahnomen County Attorney Julie Bruggeman, Fairbanks’ court date was pushed back because of a delay in supplying him 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 Corp.

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