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Man accused of shooting school bus driver on metro freeway pleads not guilty

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A school bus driver was shot on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis.
A St. Paul man pleaded not guilty Thursday to shooting and wounding a school bus driver in Minneapolis in February.
Evan Frost | MPR News

A St. Paul man pleaded not guilty Thursday to shooting and wounding a school bus driver in Minneapolis.

Prosecutors charged Kenneth Lilly, 31, with attempted murder and assault in the February shooting that occurred on a metro area freeway.

The bus driver was wounded in his arm and head. An eight-year-old girl on the bus was not physically harmed.

In court, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Michael Radmer offered Lilly the opportunity to plead guilty to 1st degree assault and accept a sentence of between six to eight and a half years in prison. However, Radmer said that offer will expire if Lilly goes forward with a July hearing in which the defendant will ask the court to suppress statements he made after he was read his Miranda rights. Lilly allegedly told officers he feared for his life before he discharged his gun.

After the hearing in front of judge Peter Cahill, Lilly's attorney Charles Clippert said he's not ready to talk about the deal right now.  He also reiterated Lilly's concern for the wellbeing of the bus driver and the girl.

The trial is scheduled to start in September.