Brian Fitch jury foreman explains deliberations leading to cop killer's conviction

Convicted cop killer Brian Fitch will be sentenced tomorrow. He faces a mandatory life term for shooting Officer Scott Patrick last summer.

A day after convicting Fitch, jurors say they never had any doubt he pulled the trigger.

MORE -- Brian Fitch guilty on all 9 counts including first-degree murder

The jury foreman, Garrett -- he asked that we only use his first name -- says, "He didn't care what officer he shot. He just wanted to kill an officer, kill as many as he could so he could get away."

"It's over now," he adds. "I think we made the right decision."

Garrett explains that there was little disagreement on the panel of seven men and five women when it came to convicting Brian Fitch of first degree murder. In fact, agreeing to convict him of that charge took less than an hour.

The most important evidence and testimony came from the state's firearm expert, Kurt Moline, who confirmed the 9-millimeter gun Fitch used during the shootout with law enforcement on July 30 was also the murder weapon that killed Patrick, a Mendota Heights officer, hours earlier.

"We just found that the ballistics guy... he'd been doing it for so long," Garrett says. "He knew his stuff. And it's admissible in court, it's reliable, that's what he said, and he knows better than I do."

Fox 9 News asked Garrett about the holes defense attorney Lauri Traub tried to poke in the state's case -- the fact that no eyewitness identified Fitch, that he isn't seen clearly on Patrick's squad camera, and the timeline issue where friend Jesse Charles and his mom testified that Fitch was at their house before Patrick was killed at 12:20 p.m.

But Garrett says Traub's arguments didn't establish reasonable doubt.

"There just wasn't enough solid evidence she provided," he says. "It was all opinion more or less that she wanted us to take a look at."

Also of interest is what the jury didn't factor in to its deliberations. Garrett says there was little attention paid to Fitch's alleged prison murder plot to take out two key witnesses, nor did they discuss the alleged statement Fitch made that he'd kill a cop if he was ever pulled over.

As for Fitch's post-verdict profanity-laced tirade at Judge Mary Theisen that got him booted out of court, Garrett says working construction, he's seen and heard far worse, and he chalked it up to frustration and bitter disappointment.

While Garrett says the first degree murder case was a near slam dunk, he says the jury took hours to reach unanimous agreement on a couple of the attempted murder charges connected to Fitch's shootout with police. He says the jury actually reenacted what happened in their deliberation room before signing off on a guilty verdict to all nine counts.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in – includes advertiser stories