Start date delayed in murder trial

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017

The trial of a Brownsdale man charged with murdering another man at Myre-Big Island State Park last summer will not start on Monday.

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 Friday afternoon, 17 of the 23 jurors who need to be selected before the trial can start had been placed, according to Freeborn County court administration. Jury selection began Monday. The 23 jurors would include three alternate jurors and eight jurors who would cover in case a juror is stricken.

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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 take two weeks, but it was not known as of press time when the trial will start.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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