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Man charged with murder removed from court days before trial starts

KAAL-TV
Created: January 24, 2020 10:46 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A man accused of murder, whose trial starts Monday, was removed from an Olmsted County courtroom during a pre-trial hearing Friday.

The defendant, Malcolm Woods, is representing himself in the case, and after an hour-long pre-trial hearing Friday morning, he turned to attorney Eric Woodford, who’s prosecuting the state’s case, and made a comment the rest of the courtroom couldn’t fully hear, but it got Woods removed by three Olmsted County Sheriff’s deputies.

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Woods is charged with first and second-degree murder, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm, for a shooting that happened at a trailer park in southeast Rochester in September of 2018.

According to court records, in the early morning hours of September 10, there was a knock on the door of the trailer home where the victim, Brandon Arndt, lived with his mother.

When Arndt opened the door, court documents show he was shot once in the face at close range.

On Friday, Judge Jacob Allen granted the state’s request to allow testimony from one of Woods’s accused co-conspirators, Darien Klindworth-Woods.

Klindworth-Woods is facing separate charges for the incident, but the judge said his testimony in the Woods trial will not be held against him in his own.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said the fact that Woods is representing himself might add time to the trial.

“This would be a unique situation in that Mr. Woods is representing himself on such a significant case, and I know that the court has made a very good record of that, made sure that this is what Mr. Woods wants and that he’s competent to do it himself,” Ostrem said.

The judge still has one final motion to rule on, whether he will grant the state’s request that Woods be, in some way, physically restrained during the trial.

A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday on that issue, with juror selection beginning later in the day.

Ostrem said that because of the serious charges and uniqueness of the case, it could take two weeks or longer.


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