Dairy barn murder conspiracy trial begins

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A Minnesota jury began hearing testimony Monday in the trial of Brenda Kay Shorter, accused of trying to kill her former brother-in-law while they were milking cows in April 2008.

“Authorities allege that Shorter and her ex-husband, William, devised a scheme to save the family farm, which was under ‘crushing’ debt and facing foreclosure,” the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported. “The plan was to take out a life insurance policy on William’s brother, John, with William as the beneficiary. William would take out the policy, and Brenda would then kill John, jurors were told.”

The plan was to save the family farm, prosecutor Eric Woodford told jurors.

But Shorter’s attorney, Gary Gittus, says there is no evidence of a conspiracy. He reportedly told the jury that Brenda hit John to prevent abuse to the cows.  

Read more from the opening day of testimony.

And, read "Defendant denies she plotted to kill brother-in-law."

Source: Rochester Post-Bulletin

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