Murder trial dates picked
Dates have been picked for the murder trial of a 30-year-old Ceylon man.
Faribault County officials have set aside three weeks, beginning March 26 and running through April 12, in Blue Earth.
Court administrator Vicky Driscoll says she doesn’t expect notices to go out to prospective jurors until a week prior to the start of the trial.
“Typically for a felony trial we would summon 35. But, because this is a high-profile case and the publicity we’ll probably have to summon a full panel, around 75,” she says.
Brian Daniel Freeman faces two first-degree murder charges in the death of a Blue Earth man, one which involves pre-meditation. 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.
County Attorney Troy Timmerman says he and assistant County Attorney LaMar Piper will both question witnesses.
Prosecutors expect to call 15 to 20 to the stand, which will include several officers and medical experts.
In all, evidence in the case consists of 1,600 pages of reports and more than 20 CDs.
During an omnibus hearing held on Nov. 19, Freeman pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His attorney, Scott Cutcher of Mankato, at that time said their defense will be Freeman committed the attacks in “a heat of passion” which would not carry a life sentence if convicted of a lesser charge.
The trial will be held Tuesday through Friday of each week.
“We have been preparing but we’ll certainly be kicking into gear and put this into trial mode,” says Cutcher. Timmerman says Freeman’s own words and admitted actions as well as direct and circumstantial evidence support their case.
But, he’s left open the possibility the case could be settled without a trial.
“I’m sure we will have some conversations with Mr. Freeman’s attorneys in the next month or so,” he says.
“But any resolution is going to require a candid and full acknowledgement of the death of Mr. Fulmer and the serious injuries done to Mrs. Freeman and her two oldest daughters,” he adds.
Chief Deputy Scott Adams says security measures will be handled like any other high-profile case.
That will involve a metal detecting machine scanning people before entering the courtroom.
“Security at the law enforcement center, when we transport him for hearings and the trial has been discussed in this case since the beginning,” he says.
“We’ve already got a plan figured out for the trial,” he adds.
Judge Douglas Richards must still rule on a motion the defense plans to file pertaining to the grand jury process.
A grand jury indictment increased the number of felony charges from seven to 11. Also, several second-degree charges were elevated to first degree.