Cromwell Murder Suspect Challenges Indictment

By KBJR Manager

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 5:12 PM CST

Carlton County, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- A grand jury indictment for first degree murder is being challenged by the woman allegedly involved in a January double homicide in Carlton County.

If the challenge is successful, the court would throw out the previous murder indictments of Rachel Defoe and force the prosecution to convene another grand jury.

Defoe is currently charged with two counts of first degree murder, as is David Annette, for their alleged involvement in the January killings of Tom Holm and Kim Schmitz in Cromwell.

Defoe's attorney also informed the court Thursday her client plans on filing for a change of venue due to the publicity this case has generated, but that decision will be made closer to the time of trial.

Defoe's lawyer also reserved the right to challenge the statements her client gave to authorities and the search warrants that were executed by investigators.

Another issue raised by the defense was the length of the prosecution's witness list, which reportedly names several hundred people.

Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler says that's his witness list, and he's reserving the right to call any of those people during a jury trial.

Meanwhile, Pertler said there is a scheduled contested omnibus hearing in the middle of June for Annette, but the defense has not yet identified what issues will be challenged during that hearing.

Posted by Zach Schneider
zschneider@northlandsnewscenter.com