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ST. LOUIS — Four St. Louis police officers accused of beating an undercover colleague during protests in 2017 or covering it up will go to trial Dec. 2, a judge said Friday.

Charging documents say Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Christopher Myers assaulted Officer Luther Hall, who was working undercover during a protest downtown. Myers also is accused of destroying Hall's cellphone and another officer, Bailey Colletta, is accused of lying to a federal grand jury investigating the attack.

All have pleaded not guilty.

Officers charged

St. Louis police officers (clockwise from top left) Christopher Myers, Dustin Boone, Randy Hays and Bailey Colletta in photos taken outside the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Post-Dispatch staff

In court Friday, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry asked lawyers for the four if any were planning to change their plea to guilty; none said yes. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reginald Harris said prosecutors were in plea discussions with at least one defendant. 

Much of the hearing was spent figuring out a time that work for the trial. Harris said it would take seven to eight days for prosecutors to put on their evidence, which will include videos, text messages exchanged by officers and witness statements.

Hall said the attack was a “free for all” and told someone at police headquarters that he was beaten “like Rodney King,” according to court documents filed by prosecutors. He was fleeing from officers firing pepper spray, pepper balls and bean bag rounds into a crowd of protesters following the Sept. 15, 2017, acquittal of former St. Louis police Officer Jason Stockley on a murder charge. Hall was getting to his knees when he was picked up and slammed to the ground, court documents say. He was also kicked and hit with closed fists and batons, investigators claim. Hall's lip was injured, the affidavit says, he suffered multiple herniated discs and a jaw injury that made it hard to eat.

Hall has not returned to work since the beating.