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Man's trial in October in Garden City death

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) -- A Garden City man is scheduled to stand trial in October in the death of a man who authorities say was stabbed 45 times.

The Oct. 21 trial date was set during a pre-trial conference Monday for Fred Schmidt Jr., 34, who was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and drug charges after the March 2011 death of Jeffrey Nichols, 25, in Garden City.

Forensics reports indicated Nichols was stabbed 45 times when the men fought near his home, The Garden City Telegram reported (http://bit.ly/1887RSn ).

Schmidt was first bound over for trial in May 2011 on a charge of second-degree murder and drug charges. He later pleaded not guilty, claiming he killed Nichols in self-defense.

The Finney County Attorney's Office later determined enough evidence existed to charge Schmidt with first-degree murder, but in July 2011, Judge Philip Vieux found there was not probable cause to try Schmidt for first-degree murder. The Finney County Attorney's Office appealed Vieux's ruling, causing the initial case to be dropped.

In June 2012, the Kansas Court of Appeals overturned Vieux's ruling and Schmidt was bound over for trial on one count of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated robbery and three felony drug charges.

Schmidt was arrested in May in Mississippi and has been held in the Finney County jail since his arrest.