Brian Fitch's alleged prison murder plot ruled admissible at trial

The murder plot Brian Fitch allegedly hatched from prison in hopes of taking out a couple key witnesses to the killing of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick last July 30 is admissible during his trial, a judge ruled today.

Fitch's defense argued it was prejudicial and does nothing to establish Fitch as the gunman, but would instead simply serve to frighten the jury.

Previous coverage: Accused cop killer asked fellow inmate to help murder 2 witnesses

Prosecutors countered that Fitch's planning reflects his consciousness of guilt, the idea being there has to be a reason he would want to kill two people who can place Fitch at or near the shooting scene in West St. Paul.

Not admissible, however, is testimony from a handwriting expert who analyzed a map Fitch allegedly handed over to fellow inmate Claude Crockson pinpointing the home of one of the targeted witnesses.

Also out is any evidence about the murder weapon having been stolen from an Eden Prairie home before Patrick was gunned down.

When the trial begins, we now know that the prosecution doesn't have an ironclad, specific eyewitness that can identify Fitch as the shooter. There's Officer Patrick's dashcam video, and there's cell phone data that the lawyers said they will use to track Brian Fitch's movements leading up to and following the cold-blooded shooting at Smith Ave. and Dodd Road.

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