Associated Press

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) – A man accused of killing a St. Louis County police officer in 2016 will not face the death penalty.

A judge on Friday set the first-degree murder trial for Trenton Forster for Feb. 4, 2019. Prosecutors told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch they will not seek a death sentence if Forster is convicted in the shooting death of 33-year-old officer Blake Snyder.

Snyder responded to a disturbance call in south St. Louis County on Oct. 6, 2016. Authorities say Forster shot Snyder before Snyder’s partner shot Forster several times. Forster was 18 at the time and survived the shooting. He is jailed on $1 million bail.

“The brave men and women of the St Louis County Police Association are saddened and deeply disappointed by Mr. McCulloch’s decision not to seek the death penalty.

Police Officer Blake Snyder represented the very best our society has to offer and he was murdered in the line of duty by a coward who represented the very worst.

While we share the same thoughts as Elizabeth, Mr. McCulloch is the longest tenured prosecutor in the State of Missouri and we trust his decision. We remain confident Mr. McCulloch will ensure the case against this murderous coward is vigorously prosecuted and the maximum prison sentence allowed by law is sought.

As we have done in the past, the St. Louis County Police Association will stand behind the Snyder family and support them in this very difficult journey.”

Forster’s public defender Stephen Reynolds told the Post-Dispatch in an email that prosecutors “made the right decision not to seek the death penalty.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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