Attorneys in the Wyatt Bear Cloud segment of the Ernst Murder Case went before Judge John Fenn in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday for a Motion Hearing. Judge Fenn said that there were two motions to be discussed: a Motion to Change Venue; and a Motion to Suppress.
Bear Cloud's attorney, Shelly Cundiff, submitted a potential jury questionnaire to the judge, saying that she anticipates prosecuting attorney Matt Redle will reject it as he had last week on attorney Erin Wardell's similar document in Dennis Poitra's case. Cundiff said she was submitting it for the record.
Discussion then turned to the Bear Cloud motions. It was revealed in court that there is a possibility that Dennis Poitra's scheduled trial at the end of August, which is the first of the three murder trials, might be moved to a later date. Poitra's defense team is awaiting a privately hired evaluation report, which Redle anticipates receiving around August 9th.
If Redle determines that his team needs time to address issues from that pending report, Bear Cloud's trial would be first. Over the past months, attorneys and the Court had concluded that the first of the three trials would be held in Sheridan. Redle strongly feels that there will not be a problem finding twelve impartial jurors, despite the high level of publicity the murder case has generated. Depending upon the outcome of the first trial – that is, how jury selection goes, for example, the Court will have a clearer idea of whether or not a change of venue will be warranted.
Regarding the Motion to Suppress, an evidentiary hearing will be set in the near future. Cundiff and Redle both anticipate that it will take about three hours to go through that process.
Now that whose trial will be first is in question, Judge Fenn ultimately decided to table both motions Tuesday, and will address the issues at a later date.