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Published July 04 2009

Suspect pleads guilty in shooting of Mahnomen deputy

MAHNOMEN, Minn. (AP) - A guilty plea has been entered by one of the two men accused in the shooting of a Minnesota sheriff's deputy last February.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daniel Vernier pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of failing to render assistance and had 16 other charges dropped in a plea deal. He could face two years in prison when sentenced in September.

He agreed to testify against Thomas Fairbanks who's accused of attempted murder and more than 20 other charges. Fairbanks is held on $1 million bail.

Mahnomen County Deputy Chris Dewey remains hospitalized since being shot in the head and abdomen Feb. 18 while investigating a suspected drunken driver. A nine-hour standoff ensued before the two suspects were arrested.