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Drake pleads not guilty

By Katherine Wartell

Cole Drake pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in Riley County District Court Monday.

Drake, 15, is accused of the April 2011 shooting death of Tyler Dowling, 14, a Manhattan High School freshman. He is also accused of aggravated robbery for allegedly taking items from Dowling, including his cell phone, after allegedly shooting him.

In February, District Judge David Stutzman ruled that Drake will be tried as an adult following a two-day hearing which included testimony from RCPD detectives, mental health professionals, and acquaintances of both Drake and Dowling.

First degree murder as committed by an adult carries a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years before parole eligibility.

At Monday’s arraignment, Stutzman set his bond at $500,000.

Drake’s trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 24.

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