News

Prosecution Finishes Presenting Its Case In Lee Christensen Murder Trial

Wed 6-29-2016 IA"], ["Estherville

(Estherville)-- Testimony concluded Wednesday in the 1st degree murder trial of Lee Christensen of Estherville, who's accused of fatally shooting Thomas Bortvit, also of Estherville, a little more than a year ago.

Upon cross-examination by the defense, Emmet County Sheriff Michael Martens today was asked about a journal which Christensen gave to Cayley Fehr's mother, who in turn gave it to police. Cayley Fehr is Christensen's ex-girlfriend who was dating Bortvit when he died. The prosecution argued the journal is hearsay and raises issues with the defendant's mental state. They wanted it to be excluded as evidence. The defense said there's nothing reflects Christensen is mentally ill. The judge hearing the case ruled the journal as hearsay.

Martens also mentioned some tire tracks near a gravel pit where Bortvit's body was found.

The defendant's sister, Claire Christensen, was the next to testify. She testified that her brother was acting normally when they went to a local restaurant to eat the night of Bortvit's death. After they got home, Claire said she went up to tell Lee she was going out, but he was gone. She added Lee indicated he was feeling lonely in the spring of 2015, shortly after he and Fehr had broken up.

The defense called one witness to the stand, Christensen's father, who described the scene of where Bortvit's body was found.

Court was then adjourned for the day. Closing arguments and jury instructions will be delivered today (Thurs.) before the case goes to the jury for deliberations.

(Image courtesy of news partner KTIV)