CROOKSTON, Minn. (AP) — Jurors have “dry-fired” the handgun used in the fatal shooting of a Mahnomen County sheriff’s deputy.

Each of the 15 jurors filed out of the jury box Tuesday, took the empty 9 mm semi-automatic and fired it six times into a “bullet-trap.” The courtroom demonstration took place under the direction of a firearms expert for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Bemidji office.

Thomas Fairbanks is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Deputy Chris Dewey. Dewey was shot in the head and abdomen in February 2009 and died 18 months later.

The defense is aiming to show that the handgun’s trigger could be so easily pulled that Fairbanks accidentally fired the handgun at times that day.

The Grand Forks Herald reports both sides agreed to the demonstration.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Monty says:

    I agree with the defence, the handgun did it. I think that handgun should get 50 years hard labor. Anyway that trigger thing making them go off is such a new thing now days… people just are not used to using triggers to make a handgun fire… why it seems like jsut yesterday when we only had flint locks…

    1. Brian says:

      Exactly, Monty. This is so lame. He “accidentally” fired the gun….right after he “accidentally” retrieved from his home and “accidentally” pointed it at the back of Dewey’s head…then “accidentally” pointed it at his abdomen. Guys like this are why this state needs the death penalty. And none of this appeal B.S. either. If you’re convicted by a jury and the case was overseen by a judge in good standing, you should get strapped to the table as soon as the gavel lands.

  2. cyue says:

    Silly reporter…you don’t een know what your reporting about.

    “Dry firing” is a term used for No ammunition. The Jurors Live Fired the pistol. You cannot dry fire a loaded pistol.

  3. john0990 says:

    Silly cyue…the article says this: “Each of the 15 jurors filed out of the jury box Tuesday, took the empty 9 mm semi-automatic and fired it six times into a “bullet-trap.””


    Try reading each word next time.

    1. Shaggy says:

      If it was empty, then why would they need a bullet trap to catch the nonexistent bullets? Poor reporting all around. The article says “dry fire” which means no ammo, “empty 9mm” and then said that they “fired” it. Well either it was loaded and they didn’t dry fire it, the actually shot it into the bullet trap, or it was empty and there was no reason for the trap and they just tried holding. It says both it both ways.

      1. Tan pup says:

        Your comment was uncalled for.

        1. Brian says:

          Sorry, ref. I guess it’s still up, so not everybody thinks so.

      2. em0886 says:

        Even though the gun wasn’t loaded it is still a safety precaution to have them fire it into the barrel…would you rather them just dry fire into the air or what?! then you would be on here complaining because they are potentially endangering lives and being irresponsible…so either way you will complain or find something wrong with the way they were doing it.

        1. @em0886 says:

          Go write a letter to Tyrone in prison,or another one of your African Baby Daddies.

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