A June trial has been scheduled for the man charged with killing his then-ex-girlfriend's new partner during a confrontation outside a Gary-New Duluth residence in December 2018.
A jury will hear the case of Brian Ross Shaw, 36, some 2 ½ years after he fatally shot his childhood friend and longtime acquaintance, Kevin Weiss Jr., 35.
Shaw's case has lingered in the court system for a number of reasons. A previous trial date was postponed after prosecutors added a more-serious murder charge. Shaw, who has been charged with a number of additional crimes since Wiess' death, has also undergone inpatient treatment. And all jury trials in the state have been halted several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barring any further complications, Shaw will proceed before a Duluth jury June 22 to charges of intentional second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Authorities allege that Shaw deliberately shot Weiss during a confrontation involving his then-former girlfriend, who had been dating Weiss. Shaw told police the shooting was accidental and that he was shoved by Weiss — but that account was disputed by forensic experts.
Authorities said Weiss had been kicked out of the woman's residence and returned Dec. 10, 2018, acting erratically and breaking a window. Shaw, who was living in Hibbing after breaking up with the woman, allegedly exchanged threatening text messages with Weiss before driving down to confront him.
Shaw told police that Weiss continued to advance on him and refused commands to back off in the confrontation outside the residence on the 100 block of West Reis Street. Shaw, who stated that he has a terminal illness, said Weiss eventually shoved him, causing the accidental shooting, according to the complaint.
But prosecutors contested his version, citing forensic analysis from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension which allegedly showed that the shotgun would only discharge if the safety lever was manually moved to the "fire" position and the trigger was pulled. Additionally, the report said Weiss was shot by shotgun pellets in a downward trajectory.
Shaw, who is now listed as living in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, was released on bond shortly after the arraignment. According to court records, he was subsequently charged with three domestic violence-related incidents in the ensuing 18 months, all involving the same woman who was at issue in Weiss' death.
When Shaw appeared for a remote hearing in June, defense attorney Matthew Benfield indicated that he was at a treatment facility. Judge Jill Eichenwald, noting the prolonged nature of the case, told attorneys that it was "time to get this case to its final conclusions."
Shaw was back before Eichenwald on Thursday. Benfield said his client had undergone a Rule 20 mental health screening, but he was not requesting a full cognitive assessment before heading to trial.