Freeman has court hearing
A jealous husband allegedly called 911 from a cell phone to report a murder after beating his wife, her boyfriend and two younger females.
Brian Daniel Freeman, 29, of Ceylon appeared in Faribault County District Court on Wednesday.
He was charged with one count of second-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Christopher Michael Fulmer.
Freeman also faces three charges of second-degree attempted murder and three counts of third-degree attempted murder.
Defense attorney Bill Grogin represented Freeman at the hearing, but another public defender of the Fifth Judicial District is expected to handle the case.
At the request of County Attorney Troy Timmerman, Judge Douglas Richards set bail at $2 million.
Grogin called the bail “extremely excessive” because Freeman qualifies to be represented by a public defender.
Richards denied Grogin’s request to lower the bail.
A sheriff’s office dispatcher received a 911 call around 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 20.
According to a court complaint filed in Faribault County District Court, the male caller said something about a murder and screaming could be heard in the background.
Only the general area of the call from Ramsey and Galbraith streets could be identified.
An officer responding found all homes in the area did not have lights on, except 414 E. Fourth St.
When the officer knocked on the door, says the complaint, he heard screaming and a plea for help.
The officer reportedly found Fulmer in an upstairs bedroom beaten to death.
Authorities found Candice Freeman lying next to Hulmer, injured and pleading for help.
The complaint says she was able to tell officers that someone wearing a mask assaulted them and took her cell phone.
A 15-year-old girl told authorities she was awaken by the screaming of her 19-year-old sister.
The girl says her head hurt when she went upstairs and found her mother fighting with an unknown, larger person wearing dark clothing. She says the person fled the room.
David Daniels, a neurosurgeon at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, told investigator all three females suffered skull fractures. He says the 15-year-old girl was likely struck in the back of the head while sleeping.
Brittany Kay DeVary and the 15-year-old girl are daughters of Candice Freeman from an earlier marriage to Michael DeVary of Estherville, Iowa. A 6-year-old Candice Freeman had with Brian Freeman also was in the house but not injured.
According to a court complaint, Brian Freeman was interviewed at United Hospital in Blue Earth and told authorities he is married to Candice Freeman and they were not having any marital problems.
He says his wife was staying at Fulmer’s house over the weekend but did not believe they were romantically involved because they were all friends.
The complaint says Freeman wasn’t able to provide “pertinent information” about Fulmer.
However, Fulmer’s landlord Steve Newman told police that Fulmer told him he had been having “jealous husband problems.”
Fulmer told Newman he had been dating a married woman who was not divorced and had been staying with him for several months.
Before leaving UHD hospital, Freeman gave Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents permission to check text message and call log information on his cell phone.
Authorities found one message from Freeman to his wife’s cell phone that said, “R U Leving (sic) me for someone else.”
The complaint says investigators also were allowed to search Freeman’s vehicle.
BCA special agent Mike Anderson reportedly found a face mask and ski mask.
A BCA agent conducting surveillance of Freeman’s home in Ceylon reportedly saw him put a large black plastic bag in the back of a vehicle. When authorities searched the bag they found clothing with blood inside.
Freeman told authorities the blood was from his job at a rendering plant, but tests conducted revealed it was human blood.
Investigators interviewed Freeman again while he was in a visitor’s room at St. Marys Hospital.
Freeman reportedly admitted driving his pickup to Blue Earth the night of Feb. 19.
He says he parked a short distance from Fulmer’s residence and knew his wife was inside when he entered with a hammer.
The complaint says Freeman could not remember specifics of what happened but believes he struck Fulmer several times in the head with the hammer.
Freeman admitted he thought Candice Freeman was injured because she was near Fulmer and “got caught in the crossfire.”
Freeman says the two girls came up behind him and “somehow” were struck.
He also admitted to Anderson that he threw the hammer out his pickup window on his way back to Ceylon.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Richards also set the following conditions, should Freeman be released from custody:
he may not have any contact, direct or indirect, with any of the three female victims assaulted;
no contact with his maternal grandparents;
is excluded from a Ceylon and Estherville, Iowa, residences and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester;
he may not leave the state, must remain in contact with his attorney and report any change of address to court officials.
Richards also issued a domestic abuse no contact order.