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Prosecutors to seek death penalty

Updated:
SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) -- A man accused of killing an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper has pleaded innocent to first-degree murder, a charge for which prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

Kenneth Eugene Barrett, 38, entered his plea Thursday. He is charged in the Sept. 24 shooting of Trooper David "Rocky" Eales during a drug raid at Barrett's rural home in Sequoyah County.

Barrett also is charged with one count of shooting with intent to kill in connection with shots fired at Trooper John Hamilton, and two counts of discharging a firearm with intent to kill regarding shots fired at Troopers Rick Manion and Raymond Greninger.

An OHP tactical team came under fire when it tried to serve a "no-knock" warrant to search for methamphetamine, authorities said. Eales, 49, and Hamilton were in the lead vehicle.

District Judge John Garrett said he would try to schedule Barrett's trial in early or mid-September.

Barrett's attorney, John Echols, contends his client acted in self-defense against a heavily armed force engaged in a surprise assault on his home.

Echols filed four motions Thursday, one of which asks the court to dismiss the case for lack of a lawful preliminary hearing. Garrett said a hearing on the motions will be scheduled sometime next month.
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