Hughes’ lawyers challenge search

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2006

By Joseph Marks, staff writer

Only weeks before his first-degree murder trial begins, public defenders representing Robert Michael Hughes said Monday they would like to make another challenge to evidence presented in the case.

Hughes requested that his lawyers challenge the Albert Lea Police Department’s initial reason for entering the property where his wife’s body was discovered, Robert Docherty, a Mankato lawyer who’s one of three public defenders representing Hughes, told Judge John Chesterman in a pre-trial hearing.

Hughes is the primary suspect in the May 25 shooting of his wife, Tammy Hughes. He is accused

of killing her with a shotgun in the couple’s Sheridan Street home in Albert Lea. Hughes was found by police lying in the back yard after the incident. The couple had two children.

Docherty said police reports state officers went to the home and saw a person lying on the floor, which prompted them to enter. Hughes claims it is not physically possible to see someone lying on the floor from that window, Docherty said.

Chesterman said the hearing concerning the entry will be scheduled the week of July 10, only one week before jury selection begins in the trial July 17.

The defense and prosecution in the case said they expect jury selection to take four or five days and to be followed by a one-week trial beginning either June 21 or June 24.

Both sides said it was unlikely the case will be settled before a trial.