A trial date has been set in the case of a man who is facing a murder charge in connection to a fatal crash in southern Leavenworth County.

The trial was scheduled after Anthony J. Dorsey entered a plea of not guilty Friday to charges of first-degree murder and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred Sept. 30. Dorsey allegedly was fleeing from a state trooper on Interstate 70 when he was involved in a crash. Another driver, Nathan Pena of Brookfield, Illinois, was killed in the crash.

Dorsey, 30, is charged with what is known as felony murder, which is a form of first-degree murder.

Under state law, felony murder occurs during “the commission of, attempt to commit, or flight from any inherently dangerous felony.”

Dorsey’s attorney, Clinton Lee, said his client was pleading not guilty Friday during an arraignment in the case.

The arraignment was conducted using the Zoom videoconferencing service. Many proceedings in Leavenworth County District Court are being conducted through Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

District Judge Gerald Kuckelman asked Lee if the defense was requesting a jury trial in the case.

“Yes your honor,” Lee said.

Kuckelman asked if the defense preferred having the trial in December or January. Lee said he believed his client would prefer to have the trial in December.

Kuckelman scheduled the trial for Dec. 14. But he said this is contingent on the court being able to have a jury trial under restrictions related to the pandemic.

Assistant Shawn Boyd said he believes the trial will take two to three days.

“We’ll schedule a three-day trial,” Kuckelman said.

Dorsey remains in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail.

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