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Trooper shooting suspect arraigned on attempted murder charge

5/1/2012

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

The man charged with the shooting of Kansas Highway patrol trooper Doug Schulte stood mute Monday in Ellis County District Court during his arraignment on the charges.

As a result, District Judge Ed Bouker entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Ruben Herrera Escobedo on all three counts pending against him.

Escobedo, 46, appearing in orange Ellis County jail coveralls, handcuffs and leg irons, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, both felonies. He also faces a single misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

Escobedo is charged in connection with the Jan. 29, 2011, shooting of Schulte near the Hays wastewater treatment plant. Escobedo was pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign at Vine and Old U.S. Highway 40.

Schulte, also 46, was shot in the chest, nicking the edge of his protective vest.

At Escobedo's preliminary hearing in early April, Schulte was asked to remove his shirt to show where he was shot. He was struck just below his badge.

After listening to testimony for about two hours, District Magistrate Judge Doug Bigge bound Escobedo over for trial on the felony charges.

A trial date still needs to be set, but hearing the case likely will fall to whoever is appointed to fill the vacancy when then-District Judge Tom Toepfer retired.