Jury selection complete, murder trial to begin today

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trial is expected to take 2 weeks

The trial of a Brownsdale man charged with murdering another man at Myre-Big Island State Park last summer will start today.

David Michael Easter, 27, faces one count of second-degree murder — a felony — and one count of carrying or possessing a pistol without a permit in a public place — a gross misdemeanor. He is accused of shooting to death Spencer Daniel Brown of rural Freeborn County last August.

David Easter

As of Tuesday afternoon, all of the 23 jurors who needed to be selected before the trial could start had been placed, according to Freeborn County court administration. Jury selection began March 27.

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The 23 jurors include three alternate jurors and eight jurors who would cover in case a juror is stricken.

Brown, 23, was found dead in a locked 2001 Audi station wagon in a parking lot near Big Island pavilion at the state park. Authorities have said Easter shot Brown in the side of the head two times through the window of the car.

Easter reportedly told dispatchers he shot Brown in self defense and claimed Brown approached him with what appeared to be a bat.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Pending no criminal record is found, Easter faces a presumptive sentence of more than 25 years in prison.

The trial is expected to begin mid-morning today with opening statements, followed by a visit to the state park after lunch. The trial is expected to take two weeks.

Look to the Tribune for updates as they become available.

See related stories: 

Authorities investigating homicide at state park

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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