Man pleads not guilty to 1st-degree murder in stabbing

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the stabbing death of another man near a busy outdoor pedestrian shopping and dining plaza in Burlington, Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press reports that 36-year-old Louis Fortier, who was held without bail, was arraigned by video Thursday. A lawyer entered the plea on his behalf.

Police say 43-year-old Richard Medina was stabbed multiple times in the neck and back Wednesday afternoon near Church Street Marketplace. He later died at a hospital. Police recovered a knife.

Police say both men are transients and have extensive criminal records. They say the stabbing does not appear to have been random. Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said they exchanged words and things escalated quickly.

Fortier was believed to have recently traveled to Burlington from Massachusetts.

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