Okerman goes to trial in April

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

The Morrison County District Court scheduled Warren John Okerman’s trial date for Monday, April 20, 2015. It’s expected to last five days.

Warren John Okerman
Warren John Okerman

Okerman has been charged with third degree murder in the death of Leslie Ellyn Peterson June 2, 2012. He is accused of giving Peterson a lethal dose of methamphetamine.

Dr. Kelly Mills, a Ramsey County medical examiner, concluded Peterson’s immediate cause of death was methamphetamine toxicity.

Dr. John Plunkett, a witness for the defense, said at a June 20 hearing that a microscopic investigation of Peterson’s organs was not done. Also, that portions of her organs were not saved for further investigation.

Plunkett said that Peterson, who had heart disease, could have died from heart failure and not the methamphetamine.

“I cannot determine if it (methamphetamine) caused or contributed to the death,” he said.

Prosecutor Todd Kosovich told Judge Conrad Freeberg he had six witnesses testifying for the state during the trial. Defense Attorney Scott Wonderlich said he may have five.

The dates for the trial were accepted by both attorneys as long as they could coordinate those dates with the witnesses.

A motion for discovery was filed Tuesday. The defense was asking for all notes and/or recordings of a conversation between Mills and Kosovich when she was in Little Falls on another matter. This was the third request for this information, the first two were on Oct. 14 and Nov. 13.

The prosecution is looking for information about Mills’ decision to forego a microscopic exam of Peterson’s tissues, an issue, which Wonderlich wrote in his motion, is critical to the defense’s case.

“It’s relevant to the issue whether Mills gave false testimony under oath during the omnibus hearing,” wrote Wonderlich.

That motion will be heard in Freeberg’s courtroom at 1 p.m., Friday, Dec. 12.