Accused cop killer pleads not guilty to 250 felony counts

August 26, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Bryant Brewer faces 250 felony counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and armed robbery.

Brewer is accused of taking the 43-year-old officer's gun during an altercation outside an Englewood police station as Soderberg was leaving work. He was finishing his shift and preparing to get into his car outside the station near 61st and Racine on July 7, police said.

Brewer pleaded not guilty on all counts. A status hearing was set for Oct. 4, Cook County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Andy Conklin said..

Brewer was ordered held without bond July 9.

Bryant admitted struggling with the 11-year police veteran, obtaining his weapon and shooting him, Asst. State's Atty. John Dillon told Judge Ramon Ocasio during bond proceedings.

He allegedly shot Soderberg in the face, head and back. Then, using Soderberg's weapon, he fired shots at a man across the street -- missing him -- and stole the man's tool bag, Dillon said.

Then Brewer allegedly fired into the police station, Dillon said. Officers confronted him and told him repeatedly to drop his weapon before shooting him in the chest, Dillon said.

Soderberg was an instructor in the police academy but was assigned to work on the street in a summer program that combats youth violence. He was preparing to drive back to the academy to play in a volleyball game when he was murdered.

Brewer, previously convicted of a drug crime, was arrested in 2006 for shooting his brother in the chest. But the brother refused to prosecute, records show.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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