Birkhead pleads not guilty to October murder of homeless man

Monday, May 2, 2011 | 6:25 p.m. CDT; updated 8:28 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 2, 2011

Travis Grant Birkhead, 49, pleaded not guilty Monday to armed criminal action and the second-degree murder of a homeless man in October.

Birkhead appeared with a public defender before Judge Christine Carpenter in the Boone County Courthouse, where he pleaded not guilty to the murder of Jerry Edward Schneider.

Schneider was found dead in a homeless camp in the parking lot of the old Everett’s restaurant on Oct. 24.

As previously reported, Birkhead  told Columbia police he was walking with another man, Ricky Lee Gaddy, when Gaddy told him he planned to kill Schneider. Birkhead said he saw Gaddy hit Schneider with a rock-like object until he stopped breathing. Police said Birkhead then stabbed Schneider.

Birkhead’s trial date has not yet been set.

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