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'Copter Pilot Pleads Not Guilty In Franklin Deputy's Death

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LOUISBURG, N.C. — An October trial date has been set for a man charged with killing a Franklin County deputy two years ago in a helicopter crash.

Ben Barrick pleaded not guilty Monday to an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with the death of Deputy Ted Horton.

Barrick was flying a helicopter in May 2004 when it crashed, killing Horton. A federal investigation revealed that metal fatigue caused the tailboom to fail, resulting in the fatal crash.

An investigation revealed that Barrick brought the helicopter to Franklin County and worked out a secret lease with the sheriff. The contract between the two promised an aircraft in excellent flying condition.

Barrick is accused of flying despite warnings the helicopter wasn't safe.

Barrick's attorney wasn't in court Monday morning. It's unclear whether he will have legal representation for the trial or will represent himself.

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