LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Less than 48 hours after a store customer found 51-year-old Mike Patel bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest behind the counter, the man who police say pulled the trigger had his first court appearance.
Travis Bredhold's attorney entered a not-guilty plea for him on charges of murder and robbery, as well as theft, drug, and concealed deadly weapon charges. After Bredhold's video arraignment, his attorney wasn't quite ready to talk about the specifics of the case.
"I'd rather not comment on that at this point. This is about the earliest stage of a criminal case you can get," said defense attorney Robert Friedman. Friedman said he was already representing Bredhold on another case when he was charged with the murder.
Police arrested Bredhold yesterday afternoon. They say on Monday, he went into a Marathon station, demanded money from the clerk, Mike Patel, and even though Patel appeared to be cooperating, shot him anyway. They say he grabbed cash from the register and ran. Around 3:15, police say a customer came into the store and found Patel unresponsive behind the counter. He was pronounced dead at UK Hospital.
As Bredhold's attorney entered that not guilty plea, the memorial outside the Marathon station grew.
"He was a nice guy," Shirley Ivey said as she looked at the flowers, cards, and stuffed animals arranged outside the door. Her husband worked with Patel, who she called "Shorty". She was one of many who said the customers thought of Patel as more of a friend than just a man behind a counter.
"He just knew everything about everybody and would you know make sure you didn't leave anything and he was just a great guy," she said.
Bredhold's next hearing will be December 17. Patel's funeral is scheduled for Friday morning at 11 at Oldman, Roberts, and Powell Funeral Home in Richmond.