EX-OFFICER PLEADS INNOCENT
has pleaded innocent to involuntary manslaughter in the
1997 fatal shooting of a used-car dealer.
Michael Brandau, 29, who now lives in
City, also entered an innocent plea to a charge of
negligent use of a weapon in the death of Paul Fitzjerrell,
State District Judge Grant Foutz allowed Brandau to
remain free on his own recognizance. Brandau's trial is
scheduled for Aug. 10.
car lot in
together. Brandau's 9mm pistol was the fatal weapon,
and both men had been drinking, District Attorney
Forrest Buffington has said. Brandau was off-duty at the
Brandau initially told dispatchers the death appeared
to be a suicide, then said it was accidental, according to
A crime lab study concluded Fitzjerrell most likely
took the gun from Brandau and shot himself.
Brandau was fired three months after the shooting
departmental policy. But
Chief Danny Ross said the firing was not related to
Gallup City Manager David Ruiz later issued a
statement saying the Fitzjerrell case was the reason for