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Man charged in 2014 hit-and-run crash that killed a Chandler police officer pleads no contest


PHOENIX — A man charged in a 2014 hit-and-run crash that killed a Chandler police officer has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 32-year-old Brian Yazzie also pleaded no contest Thursday to leaving the scene of a fatal injury accident.

His next scheduled court date is an Oct. 5 sentencing status conference.

Last month, Yazzie turned down a plea deal that would have given him a prison sentence of 13 to 15 years in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Police say Officer David Payne was rear-ended on his patrol motorcycle while stopped at a red light on Oct. 31, 2014. He later died at a hospital.

Authorities say Yazzie had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he crashed into Payne's motorcycle.

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