UPDATE: Jury Hears From Passengers With Fitch During Shootout
ST. CLOUD -- It was a heated afternoon of testimony today (Monday) in the trial for accused cop killer Brian Fitch in Stearns County on what would have been slain officer Scott Patrick's 48th birthday.
Fitch is charged with first degree murder in the death of Mendota Heights Police Officer Patrick July 30, 2014.
Several witnesses were questioned, including two that had been with Fitch the time of the stand off.
Jacob Hayes and Kelly Hardy testified they were in the blue SUV during the shootout, but with opposite stories.
Hayes mentioned that Fitch told him to bring the car back, he had a gun in his lap and that he threaten to kill his family if he told anyone where he was.
However Hardy, who says she is close friends with Fitch, testified that he acted normal that day. She said he didn't have a gun and that police opened fire on them.
During Hayes' testimony Fitch chuckled and shook his head at some of the things mentioned. The jury later found out through Hardy that Hayes and Fitch did not get along.
Finally the jury saw some photos from that day.
One was from the shootout which shows a baseball cap Fitch was wearing, that several witnesses testified to last week. The other was a Jimmy John's bag that prosecutors said had a drawing of a map out of town during their opening arguments.
This morning's testimony was centered on the police chase and subsequent shootout between Brian Fitch and police.
An expert in crash and crime scene reconstruction talked about the forensic map he created of the scene where the gunfire and arrest took place. Included in that map is the locations where the spent shell casings were found, including police shell casings and Fitch's alleged shell casings.
An important distinction between the two are that police-issued shell casings come in silver jackets, while public-purchased shell casings have brass jackets.
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office Commander Rich Clark testified he recognized Fitch behind the wheel of a blue Hyundai Vera Cruz SUV as he sped past him during the chase. Fitch was ultimately pulled from that SUV following the shootout.
Also testifying was St. Paul Police Officer Tim Bohn who was the first officer to fire at Fitch. Bohn said he was in fear for his life and the lives of other officers as he fired as many 11 shots into the car.
An investigator with an ATF Investigative Unit in the St. Paul Police Department was also one of the first officers on the scene. Sergeant Don Benner said he fired four times at Fitch, but called for a cease fire when a female passenger was discovered inside the car. That's when Benner said a stalemate unfolded as both Fitch's female passenger and Fitch were found to have been wounded.
The trial continues tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9:00 a.m.