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Questions arise as to who fired gun in deputy shooting, bank robbery

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Brian Brown, the man police say robbed the NBT Bank in Rome, then shot a sheriff's deputy in the foot, has rejected a plea offer.

Brown is facing a charge of attempted murder. Brown's attorney says there is doubt as to whether the bullet that hit Deputy Michael Burger was actually from Brown's gun. Defense Attorney John Leonard says Brown's gun and Deputy Burger's gun were both 40 caliber handguns.

"There's no doubt that the ballistics reports will prove that the wound to Deputy Burger is from the gun of Brian Brown," said Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Hameline.

After the July 29 robbery on Black River Boulevard in Rome, a chase ensued, and police caught up to the getaway vehicle on Route 49 in Marcy.

Police captured Brown's cousin, Ikiko Brown, who has since pleaded guilty to robbery, but a shootout took place between Brian Brown and Sheriff's Deputy Michael Burger.

Several shots were fired by both Brown and Burger, and Burger was shot in the ankle.

Leonard says he will ask the judge for hearings to suppress certain evidence. Among the evidence Leonard wants thrown out, is the video of a six hour interview Brown had with police, along with a written statement he gave police.

Oneida County Judge Michael Dwyer says he will set a trial date by December 22.

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