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The Kristine Fitzhugh Case

Last Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2001, 4:30 p.m.

Fitzhugh may testify in his trial
12-person jury empaneled for murder case

by Bill D'Agostino

The defense attorney for Palo Alto resident Kenneth Fitzhugh told a judge today that he plans to call his client to the stand to question him about the murder of his wife Kristine in May 2000.

A 12-person jury, with four alternates, was chosen Thursday afternoon.

Opening statements in the trial will begin Monday at 9 a.m. in the Palo Alto courthouse on Grant Street. The trial is expected to last approximately six weeks, but Deputy District Attorney Michael Fletcher said that it will take him between three and four weeks to present his case.

After the selected jury members had left the courtroom, Superior Court Judge Franklin Elia heard a few last-minute motions from the two attorneys in the case.

During that procedure, defense attorney Thomas Nolan revealed that he expects to call defendant Kenneth Fitzhugh to testify on his own behalf.

If that turns out to be true, Fitzhugh will get to explain why the police found bloody shoes and a bloody shirt inside his car after his wife of 33 years, Kristine Fitzhugh, was murdered.

He will also get to explain where he was and what he was doing at the moment Kristine Fitzhugh was assaulted.

Kenneth Fitzhugh, a real estate developer, has told police that he was walking around a vacant lot at the time his wife was beaten and killed, but that he had not spoken to anyone there and that no one had seen him walking.

In Elia's courtroom Thursday afternoon, Nolan made a request to have Justin Fitzhugh's attorney speak to the court about the possibility of having Justin, the son of Kristine Fitzhugh, watch sections of the trial.

Although he was sympathetic to the son's desire to view the trial, Elia rejected the claim saying that because he is a prosecution witness, he can't be allowed inside the courtroom while others are testifying.

Recently, court documents have revealed that Justin Fitzhugh was fathered not by Kenneth Fitzhugh, but by a family friend, Robert Brown. Fletcher is expected to argue that Kenneth Fitzhugh's motive for murdering his wife was because she revealed to him that she was about to tell her Justin that sensitive information.




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