Bush turns down plea deal, requests jury trial

NORWICH – A man charged with multiple violent felonies for his role in a drug shoot-out that left another man dead appeared in court Monday to affirm his desire to seek a jury trial.

James F. Bush, 46, Burdick Medbury Road, Town of Norwich, has pleaded not guilty to a number of violent felonies against him and told the court Monday that he wants a jury of his peers to decide the case.

“It is my understanding that the defendant, Mr. Bush, has denied a plea arrangement for five years in state prison, against the advice of counsel, and is seeking trial,” District Attorney Joseph McBride said Monday, after the defense and prosecution attempted a last-ditch effort to broker a deal.

Bush is accused of 11 felonies and two misdemeanors for his role in an attempted robbery of a local drug dealer, which ultimately led to a shotgun battle and the death of his alleged co-conspirator, Joshua D. Richheimer of Pittsfield, on July 24, 2007.

“You do understand, sir, that you could be potentially facing a very long time in prison?” asked Supreme Court Justice Kevin M. Dowd, to which Bush responded, “Yes sir.”

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