On February 2 of this year, 40-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. was found guilty of the murder of Scott Patrick, a Mendota Heights police officer; he was also convicted of the attempted murder of three other officers. Fitch allegedly shot Patrick during a traffic stop in West St. Paul in July of 2014.
According to news reports, Fitch was a known drug dealer. He was driving a Pontiac Grand Am the day of the shooting, a vehicle that did not belong to him. Because of this, Patrick was not aware of Fitch’s criminal history when he stopped him, and was shot three times from the driver’s side window. He died instantly, although eyewitnesses to the incident nor squad car video could positively identify Fitch. Fitch was arrested in St. Paul later that day and charged with murder and attempted murder following a shootout that took place prior to his arrest.
It was announced on KARE 11 yesterday that Fitch is now appealing his conviction. Fitch claims that he should have been tried in two different counties, as the fatal shooting of Patrick occurred in one county, while the shootout with police who were attempting to apprehend him took place in another county. News reports state jurors were drawn from Ramsey and Dakota counties in the consolidated trial.
In his appeal, Fitch claims his right to be tried in the county where the offense occurred was violated, and that the consolidation was unconstitutional. His appeal was filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Even the worst offenders have constitutional rights. Michigan criminal appeals attorneys know that in some cases, the wrong person is convicted of a crime. In other cases, a defendant’s legal rights may be violated, or mistakes made at any point in the criminal justice system. There are many instances in which someone who is convicted of a crime may have grounds to appeal their conviction. In some cases an appeals court will overturn a conviction and a defendant may be retried, in others the panel of judges will uphold a conviction. Much of the outcome of an appeal depends on the experience and skill of the attorney the defendant chooses to use in the appeals process.
If you have been unfairly convicted or received what you believe to be an unusually harsh sentence for the crime committed, work with a Michigan criminal appeals lawyer with a proven track record for success.