Arguments to be heard Monday in Gulbertson murder trial

Published 5:15 pm Saturday, April 17, 2010

Opening arguments in the jury trial of murder suspect Chad Jamie Gulbertson of Albert Lea will begin Monday morning at the Rice County Courthouse in Faribault. The last three of 14 jurors were selected Friday for the case after a week of questioning of potential jurors.

The trial is anticipated to go through the end of April.

Gulbertson, 38, of Albert Lea, is charged with killing his estranged girlfriend Jody Lee Morrow last June.

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He faces five counts of murder, including three first-degree

murder charges and two second-degree murder charges after a grand jury indictment in October.

He was arrested June 21, 2009, after authorities found Morrow, 38, dead inside her trailer at 730 Larimore Circle in Albert Lea.

Before officers found Morrow, Gulbertson reportedly came into the Law Enforcement Center in the Freeborn County Government Center with a family member and told an officer he thought he killed his former girlfriend, according to police reports.

A preliminary report from the Freeborn County medical examiner determined that Morrow’s death was caused by multiple blunt-force injuries to her head with a hammer, according to court documents.

Morrow had applied for an emergency order for protection against Gulbertson in both September of 2008 and in May of 2009. She was granted an official order for protection June 1, 2009, according to court records.

Gulbertson’s public defender Kevin Riha said in his client’s pre-trial hearings that he intends to rely on a heat-of-passion type argument in the trial.

Gulbertson is being transported in civilian clothes from the Freeborn County jail each day of the trial.

He has been the only suspect in the case.

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Gulbertson charged with murder