BISMARCK, N.D. - UPDATE (1/24/2018): According to court documents Brickle-Hicks filed for appeal earlier this month.
Brickle-Hicks was sentenced to life without parole for the 2016 murder of Misty Coffelt.
The murder trial for a Bismarck woman found dead a year and a half ago comes to a close Thursday.
The jury unanimously named Morris Brickle-Hicks guilty of Misty Coffelt’s murder.
Police found Coffelt’s body between pallets behind Runnings in Bismarck on April 14, 2016. The state medical examiner William Massello then conducted the autopsy on the 15th.
Massello said on Wednesday that there was more than one impact to Coffelt’s face, forehead, and chin. Gruesome photographs where shown in the courtroom on Wednesday of Coffelt’s bruised body, face and brain.
Twenty witnesses took the stand in the trial including friends of the accused, of the victim, officers, and medical examiners.
Kyle Slickle from The North Dakota state crime lab said Wednesday that they received the evidence to be tested on April 27, 2016. He said the blood swab tested from Brickle-Hicks shoe matched Coffelt’s.
During trial the jury heard testimonies like the one of Alicia Baisch. One of the last people to see Misty Coffelt on the day of the murder. Baisch said she was staying with Coffelt and her boyfriend Brian Carver in a car. The day of the murder the three took meth. Massello confirmed Wednesday that it was in Coffelt’s urine when it was tested. Baisch said
Tuesday that Carver and Coffelt got in an argument that day, she continued to mention how she would step away from the situation every time they fought because it was “not her business.”
That day Baisch left the area because of the fight and when she came back she asked where Coffelt was and his response was “I thought she was with you.”
“I don’t know if Brian say Misty before she was murdered,” said Baisch. “But I know Brian wouldn’t have done anything to her.”
On the other side of the spectrum some witnesses recalled their interactions with Brickle-Hicks that night. Jordan Mirold a friend of Brickle-Hicks said on Wednesday that the night of the murder he was with Brickle-Hicks for a portion of the evening at Bucks. Bucks General Manager, Bradley Erickson said on Wednesday that ID scanners from the night club time stamp Brickle-Hicks entering the establishment at 9:02 p.m. on April 13, 2016 and security cameras show him leaving at 12:54 the morning of April 14.
Brickle-Hicks claimed to officers during his police interview last year that after he left Bucks he was assaulted around Denny’s by three Native Americans before going to the hospital to get treated for back pain caused by the alleged altercation.
Steven Schmidt was the Sanford Health doctor in charge on the night Brickle-Hicks came in for treatment.
“There was blood inside his shoe,” said Schmidt. “I asked the on duty in charge nurse to call police.”
The on duty in charge nurse, Amy Meyer remembers hearing about the murder later on in the day.
“I had a feeling that I had taken care of someone who did that,” said Meyer.
In court on Wednesday Mirold said he picked Brickle-Hicks up by the hospital when he saw him walking and he was driving by. Brickle-Hicks then asked him to drive to Denny’s where they talked outside for what Mirold says were 30 minutes to an hour.
“He seemed agitated,” said Mirold. ”Very beside himself, nervous and upset.”
Surveillance footage shown in court on Wednesday confirms his visit to Denny’s that night. Brickle-Hicks was seen on video around 1 in the morning.
Police took Brickle-Hicks in for questioning the morning of April 15 after they found out about the call from the hospital claiming a man had bloodied shoes and pants in the emergency room the night of the murder with no visible injuries.
The police interview was shown in the courtroom on Tuesday. Through their investigation police found out that Brickle-Hicks was trying to buy a bus ticket from the area after the incident occurred.
Brickle-Hicks bond was set last year at $1 million.
He now faces possibly faces a life sentence without parole.