Suspect pleads not guilty in fatal Phoenix crash

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A man accused in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer last month has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina entered his plea at his arraignment Wednesday. His next scheduled court date is July 19.

Molina was arrested June 3 on suspicion of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal collision.

Police say 29-year-old Officer Daryl Raetz was conducting a DUI stop May 19 in west Phoenix when another vehicle struck him and fled the scene. The six-year police veteran later died in a hospital.

Police investigators say they matched pieces of the vehicle from the crime scene with parts missing from Molina's SUV.  

Court documents show Molina told police he was drinking and doing cocaine hours before the accident.