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Officer Who Shot Teen Pleads Not Guilty

March 09, 2004|From Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A white police officer who fatally shot a black teenager pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of murder and wanton endangerment.

Officer McKenzie Mattingly, 31, was indicted Friday and entered his plea in a courtroom packed with at least two dozen uniformed officers and the family of the man he is accused of killing, 19-year-old Michael Newby.

A judge set bail at $25,000.

Newby's mother, Angela Newby-Bouggess, said she was disappointed by the low bail and by officers who showed up to support Mattingly.

"It showed me they thought what he did was all right," she said.

Assistant Commonwealth's Atty. Scott Davis said the $25,000 bond is appropriate, given that Mattingly has no criminal history and isn't a risk to flee before trial.

Newby was the seventh black man fatally shot by Louisville police in five years, and the shooting raised racial tensions in the city.

Mattingly's attorney, Steve Schroering, filed a motion to move the trial out of Jefferson County, saying the history of police shootings had made selecting an impartial jury impossible. A hearing on the motion was set for April 19.

Police have described the Jan. 3 shooting as an undercover drug buy gone bad between the officer and Newby, who was shot in the back. Mattingly could get 20 years to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge.

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