Murder case ends with twist

BLUE EARTH – Brian Daniel Freeman received the expected prison term this week, but there were still some surprises.

Freeman, 30, of Ceylon, accepted a deal last month whereby he will serve a minimum of 33 years, and that is the sentence Judge Douglas L. Richards handed down Monday in Blue Earth.

Freeman faced 11 felony counts for a late-night home invasion attack Feb. 20, 2012. He pleaded guilty to four counts, including one of second-degree murder in the death of Christopher Fulmer, 37, of Blue Earth, and three counts of first-degree assault in attacks on Freeman’s wife, Candice, and her two teenage daughters. He was accused of causing head injuries to all four using a hammer.

Freeman was allowed to speak at his sentencing.

“He made some reference to the victim sharing in the blame,” said prosecutor Troy Timmerman said. “That was unexpected and unfortunate, but demonstrates his lack of remorse, and the appropriateness of the sentence.”

Freeman has been taken to St. Cloud, where the state Department of Corrections will conduct an intake process, Timmerman said. That is standard procedure.

Freeman will be in St. Cloud between 60 and 90 days, said Scott Cutcher, chief public defender for the Fifth District.

“They classify by offense and [facility] programming,” he said.

Freeman will then be imprisoned in the facility deemed most appropriate, as decided by the Department of Corrections.

“Generally for murder, it’s Oak Park Heights or Stillwater,” Cutcher said.

“I’m sure there’s some relief,” Cutcher said of his client’s state of mind. “With any plea, there’s a definite number. You know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot to be said for knowing what’s going to happen.”

“We’re all glad it’s done,” Timmerman said.