Just moments after his motion for dismissal was denied Tuesday afternoon, defense attorney Earl Gray said his client Kayle A. Fleischauer, accused in April 2018 of murdering his 19-year-old son during a late night of drinking, will not testify at trial.
St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham denied the request to dismiss the first-degree intentional homicide charge and said questions of credibility - on which this request appeared to hinge - should be determined during a jury trial, not a preliminary hearing.
The motion for dismissal filed Nov. 6, 2018, outlined Gray's theory for the night in question and claimed that "circumstantial evidence clearly establishes that Chase Fleischauer in a drunken stupor while handling a loaded firearm either accidentally or intentionally killed himself."
The motion also contained an allegation that probable cause in the case was based on "false and erroneous testimony."
Gray's dismissal filing calls into question the testimony of St. Croix County Sheriff's Office investigator Jim Mikla, who stated he was told by Dr. Kelly Mills at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office that the gun was fired about 18 inches from Chase Fleischauer's head.
Mikla testified Tuesday that the report in question - which states Mills mentioned the gun was 18 inches from Chase Fleischauer's head when fired - was prepared with notes from his conversation with Mills during the autopsy on April 15, 2018.
The notes, Mikla said, were then thrown away.
"That's what we do with our notes," he said.
Gray contends Mills and her superior, Dr. Michael McGee, performed a test of the gun to determine the actual distance, but the test didn't include a shot from 18 inches "because obviously they both knew the distance was not that," Gray wrote. They tested 3 to 9 inches, which yielded inconclusive results, according to the court filing.
Kayle Fleischauer, 42, pleaded not guilty to first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a convicted out-of-state felon at a June hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
According to a criminal complaint, authorities responded to 1489 142nd St. in New Richmond around 4:10 a.m. April 14, 2018 to find Chase Fleischauer with a gunshot wound to the head and his father behaving erratically with blood on his hands and head.
Somer Fleischauer, Chase Fleischauer's sister, also home at the time, told police she was downstairs when she heard a loud noise, went upstairs where she found her brother on the floor and her father emerged from a nearby hallway and told her it was too late to save her brother, the complaint states.
She later told police she didn't know why her dad would do this and when asked for clarification, according to the complaint, she replied, "He obviously [expletive] shot him in the head."
A final pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 17 with the trial set to begin June 3. The trial is expected to last anywhere from 7 to 10 days.