There was a court hearing March 28 in Center City on conditions of release for Eric Joseph Coleman, 45, accused of fatally injuring a boy January 26 with his snowmobile. The victim was on Chisago Lake ice fishing with his mom and dad.
Coleman’s attorneys asked the court to lift a couple conditions due to the fact that Coleman is in a residential treatment program. GPS and in-home alcohol monitoring devices were part of his release, and he is also ordered to pay for these services. Attorney Peter Berger said Coleman is now in an in-patient facility, and “his whereabouts are known.” He said the costs are “punitive.”
Prosecutor Jacob Fischmann said the state is “...very concerned we know where (Coleman) is so he can be picked up immediately,” should he violate release conditions, including not using or possessing alcohol or drugs. Fischmann added, “People leave treatment all the time” and asked the court to at least retain the required Global Positioning System device.
Judge Bollman allowed both the defendant’s requests, adding, until “the moment” Coleman leaves the treatment program and then both conditions go back into effect.
The public defenders have not received transcripts of the grand jury proceedings yet, so the omnibus hearing was pushed out to June 15.
Attorney Berger also asked for transcripts of the individual grand jury selection interviews, which Judge Bollman said she will take under advisement. The prosecution argued there are no provisions for identifying individual jurors and there is nothing in the record that refers to them. He added, there was “nothing improperly done” and the grand jury process is “secret for a reason.”
Berger explained he wants to see if there’s any basis to challenge jurors as being “qualified” and being able to “act impartially” when Coleman was indicted in late February on vehicular homicide.
Judge Bollman asked Berger if he had any “independent information” that the jury’s qualifications should be questioned. He responded, not at this time, but without the transcripts from the selection process he lacks complete information. “I don’t know what I don’t know,” he stated.
Bollman will rule on the jury selection interview transcript request later.
Coleman was originally charged with criminal vehicular operation. He was later indicted on vehicular homicide after the victim, Alan Giesenkoetter Jr., died in the hospital.