Suspect’s trial in police killing moved

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HASTINGS — A judge has moved the trial of a man accused of killing a Mendota Heights police officer last summer.

Dakota County Judge Mary Theisen ruled Tuesday that the trial for Brian Fitch Sr. will be moved to St. Cloud.

Fitch is accused of fatally shooting Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick during a traffic stop in West. St. Paul on July 30 and trying to kill several St. Paul police officers in a shootout after an eight-hour manhunt.

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Fitch’s attorneys had argued extensive publicity made it impossible for Fitch to receive a fair trial in Dakota County.

The defense had commissioned a survey of 265 county residents showing 91 percent knew about Patrick’s killing and 83 percent believed Fitch was “probably” or “definitely” guilty.