Judge sets trial date for Cromwell murder casearring a pretrial settlement, Joshua David Martineau, 29, will face trial April 2 in Carlton County District Court on two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit first-degree burglary and/or aggravated robbery.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A trial date was set Friday, Dec. 2, for the man accused of murdering Kim Schmitz and Thomas Holm at their Cromwell-area home earlier this year.
Barring a pretrial settlement, Joshua David Martineau, 29, will face trial April 2 in Carlton County District Court. Martineau, who changed his name from David Joshua Annette prior to the alleged crime, is charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit first-degree burglary and/or aggravated robbery in the Jan. 8 incident.
Rachel Charlotte Defoe, 25, is charged with aiding and abetting Martineau’s alleged crimes. Both defendants are from
Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler told Judge Robert Macaulay on Friday that he wants to try Martineau before Defoe. The judge gave Pertler and Martineau’s attorney, Keith Shaw of Duluth, a choice of three dates for the trial to start. The attorneys chose April 2, although Pertler said he and Shaw continue to explore the possibility of settling the case short of trial.
Shaw, who works in private practice and as a public defender, told the court that the public defender’s office intends to conduct a survey of potential jurors in Carlton County to determine how much they have heard about the case through media accounts and whether that could affect their ability to be fair and impartial jurors. Depending on the survey results, Shaw would then make a decision as to whether to file a motion to move the trial to another part of the state. Judge Robert Macaulay set a date of March 2 for a hearing on any pretrial
Defoe’s attorney, Joanna Wiegert of Cloquet, already filed a motion to move the trial to another county. A hearing on that request has not yet been scheduled. Wiegert had also filed a request to dismiss the grand jury indictment earlier this fall, which was denied by Judge Macaulay and more recently refused by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Pertler said he would oppose any motion for change of venue.
“I have no reason to believe we could not have a fair and impartial jury from our citizens here in Carlton County,” he said following Friday’s hearing.
Outside of two news reporters, there were only four people in the audience for last Friday’s hearing, all friends or family of Schmitz and Holm.
Pertler said the motive of the crimes was burglary and robbery, but authorities don’t know what led to the brutal murders. The prosecutor said there is no evidence of any past disputes between the defendants and victims. He said only Martineau knows what led him to do what he is accused of doing.
The defendants are being held in the Carlton County Jail on $1 million bail each. Both face a mandatory life prison sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.
The Duluth New Tribune’s Mark Stodghill contributed to this story.