AP NEWS

Man acquitted in shooting of Jasper County deputy

July 24, 2019

PINEVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a man who testified that he shot a southern Missouri sheriff’s deputy because he thought gang members were breaking into his hotel room to rob and kill him.

Forty-six-year-old E.F. Fitchpatrick of St. Louis was acquitted Tuesday of assault and armed criminal action charges.

The Joplin Globe reports Fitchpatrick was charged after 29-year-old Deputy Nolan Murray was shot at a Joplin motel in March 2017.

Fitchpatrick testified Tuesday he thought the Joplin Honkies gang was going to rob him of methamphetamine and drug-dealing proceeds before killing him.

He said he never saw Murray as the deputy and fired blindly. He shot himself after realizing he had shot a law enforcement officer.

Fleischaker pleaded guilty before the trial to unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com