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      Opening arguments begin in ethnic intimidation case

      Update Jan. 26 7:30 pm

      The ethnic intimidation trial in Alger County is now down to only one defendant. One of the original defendants, Max Charles Fisher, has pled guilty to attempted ethnic intimidation.

      His sentencing agreement has not officially been made public yet. But the other defendant, Casey Trobridge, did go on trial today for allegedly threatening a bi-racial couple in Trenary last summer.

      The bi-racial couple who claims they were targeted, took the stand today as did the accused defendant, Max Fisher.

      The couple testified they were told to leave town or their safety could be in jeopardy.

      Both Sean and Tara Lewis had separate interactions with Trobridge and Fisher on the day of the incident back in June.

      While Sean said Fisher was more agressive, his wife Tara testified that it was in fact Trobridge who was more threatening.

      Both agreed that Trobridge did use the "N" word.

      Fisher testified that he had no plan with Trobridge to harass or intimidate the couple.

      "Did you have any discussions with Mr. Trobridge while you were out there in the Black Hawks club about African American individuals or black individuals," asked Trobridge's attorney, Derek Swajanen.

      Fisher replied "no."

      When asked if there was any agenda to confront the Lewis family, Fisher replied,

      "No, there was not, the only agenda was to go bar hopping."

      The trial will continue Thursday morning.

      ______________

      Update - 2:50 p.m. EST

      The prosecution is presenting their case in the Trobridge trial.

      Under cross examination, Derek Swajanen, attorney to Casey Trobridge, says that Trobridge did not verbally threaten the plaintiff. He says that his client only used the 'N' word.

      The plaintiff's wife is about to take the stand.

      _________________________

      Update - 11:30 a.m. EST

      The jury has been selected for the ethnic intimidation case against Trobridge.

      Opening arguments will begin around 11:30 a.m. in circuit court when the jury returns to the courtroom.

      _________________________

      One of two Alger County men accused of ethnic intimidation is having his case go to trial. The other accepted a plea deal.

      On Tuesday, Max Charles Fisher accepted the plea deal offered by the prosecution. His case was remanded back to Alger County District Court, where he plead guilty to attempted ethnic intimidation. He was sentenced, but at this time, the terms are not available.

      Meanwhile, jury selection is underway in Alger County Circuit Court in the case against his co-defendant, Casey Trobridge. He is also charged with ethnic intimidation.

      The charges stem back to July of 2010, when the men allegedly targeted a biracial couple from Trenary. The couple claims that Trobridge and Fisher made racial threats against them, and that their vehicle was vandalized.

      The two men were arrested after the Trenary couple got a license plate number of a vehicle that stopped at their home.

      The charge of ethnic intimidation is a felony.

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