Two lawyers withdraw from Shawnee Krall murder case within a week

Two separate defense attorneys for murder and rape defendant Shawnee Lynn Krall, 29, of Minot, withdrew from the case in the course of a week.

Defense attorney Ward K. Johnson III withdrew from the case because he and Krall had a conflict. Public defender Eric Baumann was then appointed to represent Krall but Krall objected and said he wanted to fire Baumann. Baumann had previously represented Krall but Krall had also conflicted with Baumann.

There is a pending motion to suppress evidence in the case relating to the discovery of Krall’s deceased roommate in the trunk of a car belonging to Krall on Dec. 21, 2020. Johnson had argued that police should have first obtained a warrant before they searched the vehicle. The Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office and Krall’s probation officer had both told police they didn’t have enough evidence for the search warrant for a vehicle that Krall left on property resided on by a third party. Police had talked with the third party, Zach Barnett, after seeing a conversation Barnett had with Krall on social media about a vehicle for sale. Barnett only knew Krall casually. Barnett agreed to let Krall leave a vehicle at his residence and told police Krall had left it there when they were talking with him. Barnett testified at the hearing that he asked police to remove Krall’s vehicle after he saw them open the car door and when he saw a number of police surrounding the vehicle. Police testified that Barnett was mistaken and they only opened the car door after Barnett asked them to remove the vehicle. Krall wrote a letter to Judge Stacy Louser from the Ward County Jail asserting that the police search of the vehicle was illegal and that police body camera videos show Barnett’s father, Richard Barnett, ordering police to leave his property because they did not have a search warrant. Krall asserts that the video shows one of the officers calling Richard Barnett a rude name and that they failed to produce a warrant.

At the suppression hearing, officers testified that they were involved in a missing person investigation at the time and still hoped to find Krall’s missing roommate alive. Krall was charged with Class AA felony murder and Class AA felony gross sexual imposition after the woman was found deceased in the trunk of the vehicle.

Louser has not yet ruled on the motion and no new lawyer has yet been assigned to represent Krall.


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