29–year–old Brian Daniel Freeman is accused of killing his estranged wife's boyfriend, Christopher Fulmer, in a home invasion last February by striking him in the back of the head with a hammer several times.
According to the criminal complaint, Freeman said his wife and her two daughters "got caught in the crossfire" when they tried to stop him. The three women sustained life–threatening injuries.
After pleading not guilty, his lawyer told news 12 Freeman's defense is "heat of passion." Freeman's Attorney Scott Cutcher says, "It doesn't excuse what happened, but it also takes into account that this is more a situation at least in the way we're looking at it is a situation where somebody basically snaps and then this type of thing happens."
Family members of both the deceased and the accused attended Monday's proceedings, however, neither party would comment on camera.
The judge is setting aside three weeks for the trial. The official date has not been set yet. But the trial is expected to be held sometime between March and May.