Man pleads not guilty in officer's fatal shooting

AP News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2014 11:05 AM

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A man suspected of fatally shooting an off-duty police officer at a northeast Ohio pub and injuring four other people pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aggravated murder and assault charges.

An attorney entered the plea in Akron Municipal Court for 35-year-old Kenan Ivery of Akron on one count of aggravated murder and five counts of felonious assault with a weapon. Ivery appeared in court via video feed, wearing an orange jail outfit and saying little.

No bond was set in court for Ivery, who remains in custody with a hearing scheduled Dec. 3. A message seeking comment was left for his attorney.

Police say Ivery was asked to leave Papa Don's Pub in Akron after being unruly, then returned early Sunday with a gun and shot 32-year-old Justin Winebrenner, the off-duty officer who had tried to intervene. Winebrenner died at a hospital.

A second off-duty officer was grazed by a bullet during the shooting, and two men and a woman were hospitalized. A police spokesman didn't immediately return calls Tuesday seeking an update on the conditions of those victims, whom police didn't publicly identify.

Chief James Nice, who was among police attending Ivery's hearing Tuesday, has said it wasn't immediately clear whether Ivery targeted Winebrenner after returning to the pub. Both were at the bar after attending an athletic organization's fundraiser, but Nice said he didn't believe that Ivery followed the officer to the pub.

Police say Ivery ran off after the shooting but was caught about an hour later in a nearby field with help from a K-9 unit.

Winebrenner's family plans to hold calling hours Friday in an arena at the University of Akron, followed by a funeral Saturday morning, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Winebrenner is survived by his 4-year-old daughter, his fiancee and his father, a retired police officer.