David Michael Easter took the stand in his own defense on April 12 during the jury trial held at the Freeborn County Courthouse in Albert Lea.
Illustration by Rick Dahl
By Tara Lindquist
A Brownsdale man charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Spencer Brown of rural Freeborn County, took the stand in his own defense during his jury trial on Wednesday, April 12. Both men were formerly from Omaha, Nebraska, but there was no indication that they knew each other.
David Michael Easter, 27 claimed he shot Brown in self-defense at Helmer Myre Big Island State Park on August 23, 2016. During his testimony, Easter laid out in detail the night of the confrontation which led to Brown's death and of how he obtained his conceal and carry permit in Nebraska in 2011.
On the night of the shooting, he, his wife and infant daughter were at the park in the picnic area. They had gone to the park to smoke salmon for dinner and enjoy the outdoors.
Easter stated that it was dark when he noticed a car pull into the state park and shut its lights off. He said the car shutting off its lights as it entered the park caused him to be curious so he continued to watch the vehicle. During testimony he said it was extremely dark and raining and could only see the silhouette of the vehicle.
The car, driven by Brown then proceeded to the picnic area parking lot, and parked next to Easter's truck. Easter said he then observed a silhouette of a person exit the vehicle. He said he heard the subject yell but could not make out what the person was yelling about. He said this made him go from feeling curious to feeling "uneasy."
He said the person walked up the trail head and yelled "Hey, asshole!" at Easter and then went the other direction. He said the person went to the woods behind the bathrooms. It was then that Easter said he interrupted his wife breastfeeding their daughter and told her to get into the truck. He said at this point he was scared.
Read the rest of the story in the print edition of the Star Herald.