Freeman pleads not guilty
It was an attack that was committed in a “heat of passion.”
That’s what defense attorneys for 29-year-old Brian Daniel Freeman of Ceylon will argue if his case goes to trial.
“It doesn’t excuse what happened, but it takes into account it was a situation where someone basically snaps,” says Scott Cutcher. “That is in a nutshell our defense.”
On Monday, Freeman pleaded not guilty to 11 felony counts during an arraignment hearing in front of Judge Douglas Richards in Faribault County District Court.
Freeman faces two first-degree murder charges in the death of a Blue Earth man, one which involves pre-mediation. Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
He also is charged with attempted murder and assault of his estranged wife and her two teenage daughters on Feb. 20.
If Freeman were convicted of third-degree murder, he would still spend time behind bars.
“There is still a good amount of prison time. We’re still looking at at least 86 months and it doesn’t take into account charges for other individuals involved,” says Cutcher.
County Attorney Troy Timmerman and the defense requested three weeks for the trial.
Richards says one will be scheduled either in March, April or May of next year. And, the trial will be held Tuesday through Friday of each week.
Cutcher, chief public defender for the Fifth Judicial District, also requested a trial for his client and told Richards he plans to file a written motion. “We are now looking at a couple of things that happened during the grand jury process,” Cutcher says.
The defense had sought dismissal of a grand jury indictment resulting in two first-degree murder charges, two counts of first-degree attempted murder and three charges of first-degree assault.
Last month, Richards did not dismiss the indictments, saying prosectors met a 14-day time period requirement in notifying the court that the case would be presented to a grand jury.
Of the 11 felonies, three pertain to 37-year-old Christopher Fulmer’s death: first-degree murder with premeditation; first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit a burglary; and second-degree murder with intent to effect the death of that person.
Freeman faces four counts pertaining to his wife, including: first-degree attempted murder with premeditation; first-degree attempted murder while committing or attempting to commit a burglary; second-degree attempted murder for attempting to cause the death of another; and first- degree assault.
He also faces two counts of second-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault related to the injuries suffered by his wife’s daughters.
Freeman remains in custody at the county jail on $2 million bail.