Accused Mendota Heights Cop Killer Charged with First Degree Murder

Updated: 08/15/2014 5:45 PM
Created: 08/14/2014 7:04 PM
By: Joe Augustine

The man accused of killing a Mendota Heights police officer last month made his first court appearance in Dakota County Friday afternoon. Prosecutors charged Brian Fitch Sr. with two counts of first degree murder.

He is being held without bond and was transferred to the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections in Oak Park Heights, where he will continue to receive medical treatment. He will stay there until his next court appearance, according to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.

Fitch was wheeled into the courtroom in a gown, with a large bandage on his left arm. His public defender asked the judge to delay Friday's court appearance, saying Fitch was still incoherent, but the judge denied the request.

Police say Fitch shot Officer Scott Patrick during a traffic stop July 30.

The shooting happened in front of the A&J Auto Shop on Dodd Road. Wilting flowers, melted candles and well wishes signed in faded marker still decorate the spot where Patrick was killed. Jim Remington, the owner of the shop, will keep the memorial for as long as people want to honor the fallen officer.

Remington also plans to follow Brian Fitch's court appearances.

"I'd like to take what I hear from the trial and what I heard and piece together what I think happened," Remington said.

A criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis expects Fitch to stand trial.

"There isn't going to be any offer on the table that isn't life without parole," criminal defense attorney Bruce Rivers said. Rivers is not connected to Fitch's case. He offered legal expertise about what the accused killer faces in the coming months.

"There's no downside to him going to trial," Rivers said.

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