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Suspect in death of Lincoln police officer pleads not guilty

December 15, 2020 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The 17-year-old suspect in the shooting death of a Lincoln police officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder and six other felonies.

Felipe Vazquez waived his arraignment on Wednesday and entered the pleas in writing in the death of investigator Luis “Mario” Herrera, The Lincoln Journal-Star reported.

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The six other felonies Vazquez faces include escape using force or a deadly weapon and a string of gun charges. No trial date has been set.

Herrera, a 23-year-veteran of the Lincoln police department, was among several officers who went to Vazquez’s home on Aug. 26 to serve him with a warrant in the stabbing death of Edward Varejcka in March.

Prosecutors said Vazquez shot at officers as he and another man tried to escape.

Herrera was wearing plain clothes and was without a bulletproof vest. He was there, in part, as a translator. He was struck in the torso and underwent several surgeries before dying on Sept. 7.