Prosecutor: Prison video shows exchange of witness murder map

Video from inside the Oak Park Heights prison allegedly shows the map handoff in Brian Fitch's witness murder plot.

The last piece of the puzzle in the state's first-degree murder case against Brian Fitch was surveillance video taken inside the Oak Park Heights prison last month. The video shows Fitch in his prison cell on the afternoon of Dec. 17, where he appears to slide a piece of paper under the door to fellow inmate Claude Crockson.

Prosecutors have said this piece of paper was a detailed map depicting the Oakdale, Minn. apartment of Fitch's one-time girlfriend, Taya Moran. Crockson testified Fitch wanted Moran and another important witness in his case murdered before the start of the trial. Fitch is charged with the murder of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick.

DNA links Fitch to gun

A fingerprint expert testified on Thursday that she found Fitch's left thumb and index finger prints on the map. Also on Thursday, prosecutors gave the jury a look at some of the DNA evidence gathered in the case.

On the 9mm Smith and Wesson found in Fitch's SUV when he was arrested following a shootout with police on July 30, investigators found Fitch's blood. DNA confirmed it. Forensic experts have said the semi-automatic handgun was the murder weapon.

Audio from shootout in St. Paul

As for the defense, their only new piece of evidence and testimony offered was an audio recording from the dramatic police shootout last summer. The jury did not watch the accompanying video, recorded by a nearby witness. In the audio, you can hear gunfire all over the place.

VIDEO – Final shootout with St. Paul police (cell phone video)

Fitch doesn't take the stand

In the end, Brian Fitch waived his right to take the stand in his own defense, telling the court "my decision would be not to testify." With that, the court will remain in recess until Monday when both sides will present closing arguments and the jury begins its sequestered deliberations.


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