Music professor’s trial rescheduled over weather concerns
February 28, 2012
The jury selection and trial of UW-River Falls music professor Thomas Barnett has been postponed until April 11 due to concerns about potential snowfall.
Jury selection was to begin Tuesday in the St. Croix County Circuit Court in Hudson. Barnett is charged with second degree sexual assault of a child and false imprisonment following an alleged incident at the Hudson 12 Theatre on Aug. 16, according to the criminal complaint.
Defense Attorney Timothy O’Brien said that both lawyers and Judge Eric Lundell agreed to postpone the trial because there were questions about whether the witnesses or jurors could make the scheduled three-day trial if weather conditions worsened.
The Twin Cities and western Wisconsin were under a winter storm warning Tuesday into Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, Minn.
“We didn’t want to go into the second day of the trial and have to postpone it,” O’Brien said. “Therefore, we just decided to postpone it altogether instead of starting it and then worrying about whether people could make it for the second day or not.”
There were no legal reasons for the postponement, according to O’Brien.
Barnett’s trial will now begin at 9 a.m. April in the St. Croix County Circuit Court in Hudson.