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Defense moves for mistrial in murder case

The defense said Friday afternoon it would like to make a motion for a mistrial in the murder trial of State v. Thorpe Thomas Bradley based on a conflict involving a confidential informant for the prosecution.

Joe Parise said he and Ryan Ries, who are defending Bradley were just provided the identity of a confidential informant the state wanted to call as a witness in the trial. That person was trying to make a deal for his girlfriend, who was being represented by Ries, Parise said.

This is a conflict and Ries needs to be off the case now, Parise added. He also had issue with finding out this information in the middle of the trial and not before.

Prosecutor Eric Schieferdecker said he wanted to know specifically what the nature of the conflict was with Ries. The state used a procedure to keep a witness confidential for his protection, Schieferdecker said.

During a break, Ries said he spoke with someone from the Minnesota Board of Professional Responsibilities and was told he should not cross-examine the witness or be a part of the cross examination team. He has also had contact with the confidential informant through defending his other client, Ries added.

He believed it was a conflict and that he couldn't continue as part of the defense.

Judge Jay Carlson said he wants an affidavit with a motion from the defense including time lines of when certain events happened. The prosecution can then respond to the motion. He wants the information faxed to him over the weekend because he wants to fully consider the request. He asked the attorneys to also think of ways to cure the issue.

Carlson said he would like to review the motion over the weekend and reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Monday for oral arguments.

Before the request for a motion, the prosecution had called Dr. Michael McGee to discuss the autopsy of Thomas Hensel and injuries he sustained. Parise said the defense was not willing to continue the trial at that point.

Earlier on Friday, Dr. Lindsey Thomas, who was called by the defense, testified about her review of the autopsy and injuries sustained by Hensel. She said she couldn't conclude whether Hensel's injuries were caused by a punch, a kick, an object or a fall. An injury to his chin could have been caused by any of those possibilities, she said.

A cheek injury and the chin injury could have contributed to closed head trauma caused by several scenarios, including falling, a punch or different type of contact, she said.