UPDATE: Attorney for Estherville teen charged with murder seeks to keep trial in Emmet County

Local News
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The attorney for an Estherville teen accused of killing a 19-year-old college student in June of 2015 says he doesn’t intend to try and get the trial moved out of Emmet County. 

According to court documents filed on Monday Attorney Leon Spies filed a notice that he does not intend to move for a change of venue. Spies is currently representing 18-year-old Lee Christensen who is charged with 1st Degree Murder in connection to the death of Thomas Bortvit. 

Spies had not previously filed a motion to change the venue of the trial. In his notice filed on Monday he said he “Reserves the right to seek a change of venue at trial if during jury selection it appears that there is a substantial likelihood a fair and impartial trial cannot be preserved with a jury selected from Emmet County.”\

According to court documents, Christensen is accused of shooting Bortvit at a rural location outside of Estherville on June 6th of 2015. Christensen was arrested the next day at the Minneapolis airport accompanied by his mother. 

Christensen has pleaded not guilty to one count of 1st Degree Murder. He’s currently being held in the Emmet County jail on $2,000,000 bond. If found guilty he potentially faces life in prison. 

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