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Bemidji considered as new venue for trial of man who shot Mahnomen County deputy

The man charged with pulling the trigger in the shooting of a Mahnomen County Deputy, says he can't get a fair trial. Thomas Fairbanks wants the trial to be held somewhere else, and Bemidji was discussed as a possible venue.

Thomas Fairbanks entered the courtroom, gave a nod and quick smirk to a dozen of his supporters before attorneys went over a handful of topics surrounding a future trial. The hearing covered setting a pre-trial date, Fairbanks changing holding facilities, a motion that could alter some of the charges against Fairbanks, and moving the trial to a different county.

Both sides suggested their preference to which location would work best. The prosecutor suggested Bemidji because of its proximity, but the defense is worried about too much publicity in Bemidji and would like the trial held in Itasca County. Mahnomen County Sheriff Doug Krier says his biggest concern is transporting Fairbanks in an unpredictable winter.

"This is something I've never gone through before, like I told the judge in the courtroom, once I find out where we are going to go, I'm going to go over to that sheriff and talk to him in that county to find out exactly what it is that I have to do."

The three frontrunners for the trial are Itasca, Beltrami, and Crowing counties. People behind Fairbanks cried as he left the room whispering something to the crowd of supporters. A pre-trial date is set for Dec. 29 in Mahnomen.

Meantime, Chris Dewey continues his recovery in a Colorado hospital. Dewey's wife, Emily, says on his caring bridge site that he continues to recovery from a major brain surgery.

He's in the ICU. Emily says he hasn't spoken in full sentences since having brain surgery, just a few words. Dewey was shot in the head and stomach while responding to a call.