Today: Trial for man accused of killing Mendota Heights officer begins


The man accused of fatally shooting Mendota Heights police Officer Scott Patrick during a routine traffic stop in July will go to trial Monday, several counties from where the crime took place.

Brian Fitch Sr., 39, is charged with first-degree murder in Dakota County, as well as three counts of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer, three counts of drive-by shooting, three counts of second-degree assault, plus one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in Ramsey County, which stem from the shootout with St. Paul police that led to his arrest.

The charges were combined in one indictment from a multi-county grand jury. Fitch's trial was moved to Stearns County because there were concerns he couldn't get a fair trial in Dakota County following the widely publicized shooting and manhunt.

Jury selection will begin Monday in St. Cloud and it's expected to last through the week, according to the Pioneer Press.

Opening arguments and testimony are scheduled to being Jan. 20. Prosecutors have a list of 67 witnesses who could testify at the trial, the Star Tribune said. Among them: police officers, eyewitnesses and Fitch's son.

In addition to the initial charges, prosecutors filed a notice last week that they plan to introduce evidence at trial that while behind bars, Fitch conspired to commit murder and tamper with a witness, FOX 9 reported.

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