Man pleads guilty to murder in Blue Earth hammer attack - KMSP-TV

Man pleads guilty to murder in Blue Earth hammer attack

A jealous husband who is accused of entering a southern Minnesota home in the middle of the night and using a hammer to kill a man who was with his wife pleaded guilty Monday to murder.

Brian Daniel Freeman, 30, of Ceylon, entered his plea in Faribault County District Court. He pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree intentional murder, without premeditation, and three counts of first-degree assault for the Feb. 20, 2012, attack in Blue Earth.

According to the criminal complaint, Freeman was wearing a mask when he entered the home and hit Christopher Fulmer, 37, in the head, killing him. Freeman also hit his wife, Candice Freeman, and her two teenage daughters, before calling 911.

Freeman's wife and the teens suffered life-threatening injuries, including multiple skull fractures. Faribault County Chief Public Defender Scott Cutcher said Freeman's wife also lost an eye. Cutcher said all three are healing fairly well, although the recovery process has been slow.

Cutcher said Freeman faces 33 years in prison when sentenced March 11.

Had the case gone to trial, Cutcher said he would have argued the attack happened in the "heat of passion."

"I think he's still in kind of a shock in some sense," Cutcher said of Freeman. "Certainly he has shown some remorse."

Prosecutors did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

According to a criminal complaint, authorities said they got a call about 12:30 a.m. from a man who said something about a murder. The dispatcher heard screaming.

Authorities found Fulmer in bed in an upstairs bedroom, dead, and lying on his back with significant head trauma. Candice Freeman was found on the same bed, injured and pleading for help, the complaint said. The teens, ages 19 and 15 at the time, were also injured. The Freemans have a younger daughter together, who was unhurt.

Freeman left the house after calling 911 and was later arrested. Authorities found two masks in his car and also saw him put a garbage bag in his car, which held clothing that contained human blood.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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