Defense to rest case in Kruse trial this afternoon

WORTHINGTON – The defense in the Christopher Kruse trial in Nobles County District Court announced shortly before noon Tuesday that they would recall Bailey Kruse to the stand after the lunch break, and then they intend to rest their case. This means Chris Kruse does not intend to take the stand.

Chris Kruse is on trial for the murder of his wife Janette Pigman-Kruse, who was shot in her bedroom at their home in Brewster in August 2015. Chris Kruse was indicted by a grand jury in March 2019.

Testimony in the case began January 31 after four days of jury selection. The prosecution called a total of 37 witnesses, resting their case after a short amount of grand jury transcription readings Tuesday morning.

When the defense began presenting their case, they started with independent forensic scientist Matthew Noedel of Noedel Scientific. He stated his exam of the Remington 870 Express the state identified as the gun that fired the shot shells at the scene was inconclusive. He noted that the Minnesota BCA crime lab had gone from eliminating the weapon to matching it, based on cycling marks made on test shells.

Noedel stated that the complete change in a conclusion is unusual.

The defense also called Jan’s parents to the stand. Mary Jean Pigman said she spoke to law enforcement several times after Jan was murdered, and when speaking to prosecutors before the trial, stated she didn’t believe the state would give them valid information.

“You didn't think we'd be truthful?” Assistant Nobles County Attorney Braden Hoefert asked.

“That’s right,” she replied.

Depending on how long Bailey Kruse is kept back on the stand, attorneys could start closing arguments Tuesday or Wednesday, and the case would then be turned over to the jury for deliberation.

This is a developing story - check back at as the cases progresses.

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