Opening Statements in Fitch Trial Delayed Until Thursday
ST. CLOUD – The Brian Fitch trial is delayed until Thursday morning.
A continuance request has been granted this (Tuesday) afternoon in the murder trial for the accused cop killer.
Reporter Dan DeBaun says the request was granted after the defense asked for more information from the state about an alleged recorded confession Fitch made to an acquaintance who is now in jail.
Defense attorney Lauri Traub says she hasn’t had a chance to listen to the evidence and that she wasn’t told about it until Monday morning. Dakota County Judge Mary Theisen plans to allow the evidence but wanted to give more time to review the information.
Opening arguments in the case will now start on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.
The trial was also delayed in the morning, after one juror was dismissed by Theisen.
The woman, known as Juror #44, was concerned about her identity being leaked by the media. She said she was fearful for her life and was in tears while addressing Theisen. The juror said she’s working at the Stearns County Jail, which could put her in a dangerous situation.
Later in the day after 1:00 p.m., a replacement juror was found. The juror was referred to as Juror #74, a woman who said she had seen brief media coverage of the case over the weekend, but was willing to withold judgement.
Before dismissing court until Thursday, Theisen reminded jurors not to speak to anyone about the trial and to avoid watching or reading any news updates on the case.
Brian Fitch Sr. is on trial in the fatal shooting of Officer Scott Patrick last July during a traffic stop in West St. Paul. He’s also accused of trying to shoot other officers who tracked him down in St. Paul later that day.
Last week, seven men and seven women were selected for the jury, including two alternates. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
Source: Dan DeBaun/Townsquare Media-St. Cloud