Forum staff reports, Published November 29 2010
Dewey’s accused killer wants trial moved againCROOKSTON, Minn. - The attorney for the man accused of fatally shooting a Mahnomen County sheriff’s deputy wants the trial to be moved a third time.
Thomas Lee Fairbanks, 34, of Mahnomen, Minn., is charged with first-degree murder and a dozen other felonies in connection with the killing of Christopher Dewey.
Dewey was responding to a report of drunken driving when he was shot in the head and belly on Feb. 18, 2009. After spending a year and a half hospitalized due to complications from the shooting, he died on Aug. 9.
Fairbanks’ trial had been moved to Polk County due to concerns about a biased jury pool, but defense attorney Joe Parise is asking for another venue change.
Parise said the county courthouse in Crookston, Minn., is too close to Mahnomen to host the trial.
“It’s about 55 miles away. There’s a ton of witnesses from Polk County,” he said after a hearing Monday in Polk County.
Parise said he’s not sure yet where he’ll ask the trial to be moved. Polk County was the second new venue, as it was moved earlier this year to Beltrami County in Bemidji, Minn.
Eric Schieferdecker, the prosecutor from the state attorney general’s office trying the case, couldn’t be reached for comment.
No trial date has been set yet, but Parise said it will likely be scheduled in the next few months. The next court date scheduled is a hearing in March.