An 18-year-old man pleaded not guilty Friday to robbery and murder charges in the death of a Lexington gas station attendant in early December.
Defense attorneys entered the plea on behalf of Travis Michael Bredhold during an arraignment in Fayette Circuit Court.
Judge Ernesto Scorsone advised first assistant commonwealth's attorney Lou Anna Red Corn to file a written notice with the court if prosecutors elect to seek the death penalty.
Outside the courtroom, Red Corn declined to say how the commonwealth's attorney's office might proceed.
"We're not at the point in the case yet," she said.
A pre-trial conference is set for March 27.
Bredhold, of Lexington, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Mukeshbhai Patel, 51, who worked at the Marathon station at 1758 Alexandria Drive.
A customer found Patel, 51, when she went to the station about 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Patel was rushed to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
He had been shot, the county coroner's office said.
Lexington police arrested Bredhold at Fayette Mall less than 24 hours later, based on surveillance footage from inside the station and a description of the car the robber was driving.
Police said Patel was working alone inside the Marathon station when the robbery occurred.
According to a police affidavit filed in court, the store surveillance camera recorded images of the robber demanding cash from Patel, then shooting him as he attempted to comply.
Bredhold's foster parents later identified him as the man in the surveillance footage, according to police testimony during a preliminary hearing in Fayette District Court.
Officers said Bredhold was carrying a loaded .380-caliber handgun when he was arrested, and almost $570 in cash, two marijuana cigarettes and various pieces of drug paraphernalia.
Bredhold had been before Scorsone on other charges before the Marathon robbery. Bredhold failed to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on the day Patel was shot.
Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.