MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Family and friends of slain attorney Kelly Phillips filed into a Ramsey County courtroom today.
They were there to see his accused killer, Lyle “Ty” Hoffman, appear for an omnibus hearing.READ MORE: Minnesota Judge Among Possible Top Supreme Court Contenders
Other than wishing the judge a “good afternoon,” Hoffman stood silent and still.
The 44-year-old Hoffman is accused of killing his former boyfriend and business partner in a gas station parking lot back on Aug. 11.
Judge Leonardo Castro entered a not guilty plea for Hoffman, who appeared to make little eye contact with courtroom spectators.
Instead, he deferred all questions from the judge to his court-appointed attorney, Peter Rainville.
Family and friends of Kelly Phillips will let no part of Hoffman’s court proceedings slip by them.
Along with Phillips’ fiance, Nathan Bailey, a large group came to the courtroom to both support and witness.
A soured business and domestic relationship between Phillips and Hoffman ended the morning of Aug. 11 in Arden Hills.
That is when police say Hoffman used a .45 caliber Glock handgun to shoot Phillips twice in the back as he ran from the car the two arrived in. Moments later, with Phillips on his knees in the Holiday parking lot, Hoffman is alleged to shoot him a third time in the back of the head at near point-blank range.READ MORE: Liddell Leads Buckeyes Past Gophers, 75-64
Hoffman then took off in Phillips’ BMW sedan and abandoned the vehicle in Blaine.
He eluded capture for the next month, touching off intense manhunts in and around the Anoka County Airport in Blaine.
On Aug. 31, investigators say Hoffman held up the TCF bank in Blaine. As he ran from the bank with a backpack slung over his shoulder, a dye pack exploded, turning the money and his clothing red and slightly burning Hoffman’s back.
The following day, Hoffman apparently bought fresh clothes, a new backpack and a cell phone at the Richfield Target store.
Soon after, police say, Hoffman began laundering the red-stained bills at Mystic Lake casino in Shakopee, using taxicabs and public transit buses to get around.
Then, on Sept. 11, a tipster called police when she saw Hoffman at a Shakopee shopping center, outside at an Arby’s drive-up menu board.
When police got there he used the alias “Mark Royce” and was still carrying $3,000 in ink-stained money, with burns and dye marks on his back.
Hoffman’s attorney did not ask the judge for any bail reduction at Friday’s omnibus hearing, so Hoffman will remain jailed in lieu of $2 million bond.MORE NEWS: Minnesota Weather: Friday Kicks Off Stretch Of Warmer Days
A pre-trial hearing date has not been set.