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Jury selection to begin in Grussing trial

MONTEVIDEO -- Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in district court in Montevideo in the second degree murder trial for a man accused of fatally stabbing his roommate in Montevideo on September 8.Michael Dean Grussing, 54, is charged with...

MONTEVIDEO - Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in district court in Montevideo in the second degree murder trial for a man accused of fatally stabbing his roommate in Montevideo on September 8.
Michael Dean Grussing, 54, is charged with second degree murder, intentional but without premeditation, in the death of Kevin Richardson, 44. He also faces a charge of fleeing a police officer.
District Judge Thomas Van Hon is assigned the case. The trial is scheduled for five days, but could go into next week. At this point, there is a pool of 59 prospective jurors, but more could be called if needed, according to Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson.  It’s anticipated that it could take one or more days to select a jury of 13 (one sits as an alternate) to hear the case.
Chippewa County authorities charge that Grussing used a fillet knife to slash his victim’s throat and then fled their residence on Sherman Avenue in Montevideo. Both had been drinking and prosecutors argue that the victim was too intoxicated to defend himself.
Montevideo Police apprehended Grussing shortly after the stabbing.
He was found hiding under a bush near the residence after a short foot chase by a Montevideo police officer responding to the scene, according to the criminal charges.
It’s expected that defense attorneys for Grussing will motion the court to allow a jury to consider a lesser charge of second degree murder, unintentional.
Prosecutors have already indicated to the court that if a conviction is obtained, they will ask to present evidence for a harsher sentence based on alleged aggravating factors. They contend that the victim was particularly vulnerable due to his state of intoxication and that Grussing acted with particular cruelty in not seeking immediate medical care for the victim.
Richardson’s life could have been saved if immediate care had been provided, prosecutors argue. The knife had cut veins in the victim’s neck but not an artery, according to documents filed in the case.

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