Man who shot Jasper County deputy pleads not guilty in federal indictment

Man who shot Jasper County deputy pleads not guilty in federal indictment
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Fitchpatrick during jury trial in July, 2019

The man who shot a Jasper County Deputy pleaded not guilty to federal charges stemming from crimes on that same day.

E.F. Fitchpatrick, Jr., of St. Louis, Missouri, pleaded not guilty in federal court today. The federal indictment includes the following charges:

Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of meth
Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth
Discharge of firearm during and relation to drug trafficking crime
Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person

Court officials set an accelerated jury trial for October 28th.

The federal indictment alleges that Fitchpatrick participated in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine from Feb. 18 to March 1, 2017. Fitchpatrick is also charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Fitchpatrick is charged with discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. According to the indictment, Fitchpatrick discharged a Hi-Point .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun on March 1, 2017. The shooting wounded Jasper County Deputy Nolan Murray at a Joplin motel. Fitchpatrick is also charged with being a felon and an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance while in possession of that firearm.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Fitchpatrick has two prior felony convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm; two prior felony convictions for the distribution, delivery, or manufacture of a controlled substance; three prior felony convictions for forgery; two prior felony convictions for possession of an illegal weapon; one prior felony conviction for using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of heroin; one prior felony conviction for burglary; and one prior felony conviction for tampering with a motor vehicle.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Keller. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

This new indictment comes after Fitchpatrick was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison on a related charge of illegally possessing a firearm. The sentence was handed down Thursday, Sept. 19.

In the local case of the shooting of Deputy Nolan Murray, a jury found Fitchpatrick not guilty on July 23rd, 2019 to both counts of unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. The defense argued that Fitchpatrick fired in self-defense, thinking deputies outside his hotel room were members of a local gang.

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