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Judge for the second time delays omnibus in murder case

BENSON -- A hearing at which the prosecution is expected to outline its case for first- and second-degree murder charges in a September 2004 shooting in Appleton is being delayed for a second time.

The omnibus hearing for Andrew Gordon Lemcke, 34, of Appleton was to have been held Thursday in Benson.

District Judge Jon Stafsholt agreed to a request by defense attorney Andrew Northrup for a continuance. The defense attorney asked for more time to review materials in the case. The attorney said he only recently received all of the documents he had requested from the prosecution, including many pages of transcripts from a grand jury proceeding.

Lemcke faces charges of first- and second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of his wife, Nichole Riley-Lemcke, 26, in the early morning of Sept. 12, 2004, in their Appleton home.

A Swift County grand jury had been convened in April 2005 to consider the case and returned no bill of indictment. A second, Swift County grand jury was convened in November 2008 and it issued the indictments.

The prosecution has indicated that new evidence was brought before the second grand jury, but it has not publicly stated what that evidence is. Grand jury proceedings are held in secret.

Stafsholt is to confer by telephone with defense attorney Northrup and prosecutor Al Zdrazil with the Minnesota Attorney General's office and determine a date for the hearing. The omnibus hearing had originally been scheduled May 15, but was postponed until this week while the judge considered motions concerning defense access to materials presented at the grand jury proceedings.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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