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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A Dunn County judge has determined all of the autopsy photos can be used in the three-week trial for the Town of Spring Brook homicide case.
At the conclusion of a day-long motion hearing October 7, Judge James Peterson granted the prosecution the ability to use all of the autopsy photos in the murder trial of Ezra J. McCandless set to begin in Dunn County Circuit Court Monday, October 14.
McCandless, 22, is accused in the stabbing death of 24-year-old Alexander Woodworth in the Town of Spring Brook in March of 2018.
McCandless’s attorney, Aaron J. Nelson, objected to some of the autopsy photos being used at trial, according to online court records.
During the motion hearing, other topics included the testimony of an expert witness for the defense; which portions of a DVD could be shown to the jury; jury instruction regarding McMorris evidence [evidence of a victim’s prior violent behavior is known as “McMorris evidence”]; jury instructions regarding self defense; the defense’s objection to jail officers being in uniform and a request to have them dress in professional attire; and the conviction status of several witnesses.
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf also objected to having Court TV present in the courtroom with a live feed because the jurors are not going to be sequestered.
Richard Dufour, an assistant state attorney general, is the prosecutor in the case.
During the preliminary hearing in April of 2018, Nelson said McCandless had told investigators Woodworth had attacked her.
The body of Alexander Woodworth was found in a car identified as belonging to McCandless in the Town of Spring Brook March 23, 2018. According to the preliminary autopsy report, Woodworth had been stabbed 16 times.
The owner of a residence in the Town of Spring Brook called 911 the afternoon of March 22, 2018, when a young woman came to his house with torn clothes, muddy pants, no shoes and blood on her face and hands.
The three-week trial is expected to conclude November 1.
McCandless is charged with a single count of first degree intentional homicide with a modifier of use of a dangerous weapon, a Class A felony which carries a mandatory penalty, if convicted, of life in prison.
Bail was set for McCandless at $250,000 cash on March 29, 2018.
McCandless remained in custody at the time of the October 7 court hearing.
McCandless had previously pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect but withdrew the plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect at a court hearing on February 6 of this year.