ST. PAUL, Minn. – The man found guilty of a murder at Myre-Big Island State Park has lost in the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
David Michael Easter, 28 of Brownsdale, was convicted of 2nd degree murder and carrying a pistol without a permit for the fatal shooting of Spencer Brown on August 23, 2016. Easter shot Brown twice in the head while Brown was sitting inside his locked car.
Easter claimed at his trial he acted in self-defense. In his initial 911 call to report the shooting, Easter claimed Brown had a baseball bat and later testified at trial that Brown was drawing a gun when Easter shot him. Police said they found neither a baseball bat nor a firearm in or around Brown’s car.
Easter was sentenced in September 2017 to 25 and ½ years in prison.
In his appeal, Easter argued his judge gave the jury an incorrect instruction on his case and that his sentence should have been lessened because of his claim of self-defense. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected those arguments and affirmed Easter’s conviction and sentence.
The Court rules that while the judge should have given the jury a general instruction on the legal definition of self-defense, Easter did not object to the jury instruction given at trial and the judge’s mistake did not affect the jury’s deliberations.
The Court also find that while Easter claims he did not intend to kill Brown, the jury found him guilty of intentional murder and his sentence was appropriate.