Second Murder Trial For Eau Claire Man Begins Monday

A judge says the defense will be allowed to present information about a murder victim's lifestyle and whether someone else could have killed her ... when a man goes on trial for a second time in the death.

Circuit Judge Benjamin Proctor of Eau Claire says he'll let the defense present the evidence and he'll rule on the issues as they come up, when 58-year-old Evan Zimmerman goes on trial Monday in the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Defense lawyer Keith Findley says victim Kathleen Thompson had relationships with several men, was a regular patron at taverns and corresponded with prison inmates ... and those activities will have to be brought out at the trial.

Zimmerman is a former Augusta police officer who got life in prison for first-degree intentional homicide in the strangulation of the 38-year-old Thompson. Her body was found on an Eau Claire street five years ago. Prosecutors say he dumped her there.

Zimmerman's conviction was overturned on appeal, on grounds he had ineffective counsel.

The judge says he likely won't allow the defense to use a fire-rescue dummy in the trial. The lawyers for Zimmerman say they want to use it to show how hard it is to move a body weighing 180 pounds, which was the victim's weight.

The trial will be at Juneau in Dodge County because of pretrial publicity in Eau Claire.


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