A November trial is set for the man accused of attacking a Catholic priest in his Anamoose church in January.
Chad Legare of Alexandria, Minnesota, was in court today, hoping to win a motion regarding what kind of defense he can mount.
Jim Olson reports.
Chad Legare’s attorney says the defense in the attempted murder case should be able to ask jurors to consider a variation of self defense to excuse his actions.
William Hartl made the case that Legare was acting in defense of his girlfriend, Kathleen Chapman, when he allegedly attacked Father Robert Wapenski at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on January 30th in Anamoose.
Hartl says the woman would testify that she had been repeatedly raped by Father Wapenski, sometimes in the presence of her daughter.
Hartl said Chapman would testify she had told Legare of those attacks, leading Legare to take action to defend Chapman against future assaults from the man the court identifies as John Doe.
(William Hartl, Defense Attorney) “Due to her vulnerability and the position of control that the victim John Doe established over Ms. Chapman, she didn’t know how to prevent it. She feared for her safety, she informed Mr. Legere that she feared for her safety, and Mr. Legere believed what Ms. Chapman told him.”
The prosecution argued against allowing that line of defense, saying the circumstances do not meet the requirements of state law for defending a third person from harm since the woman was not in the church at the time of the attack.
(Joshua Frey, Prosecuting Attorney) “There were only two people in the facility when this went down. Mr. Legere and the victim. “
Judge Donovan Foughty agreed with the state, reading the text of the law out loud and saying the defense could not use it in trial.
(Donovan Foughty, District Judge) “She was not at the facility where the alleged assault took place. And if she was not at the facility, she was not in imminent danger. There was no immediate danger to herself.
Judge Foughty gave the two sides seven more days to reach a plea deal to avoid trial. If no deal is reached by next Friday, the case will go to trial in November.
In Towner, Jim Olson, KX News.
Legare is being held on $250,000 bond at the Heart of America Correctional Center in Rugby.