Armed robbery suspects appear in court

Two men who posed as U.S. Marshals during an armed robbery were back in court Wednesday.

Bernard Fish and Donavan Waupoose both appeared in Baraga County Circuit Court in regards to a motion filed by their attorneys to have their cases tried separately.

Waupoose is represented by Aaron Schenk, and attorney Matthew Tingstad is representing Fish.  Both attorneys felt the cases needed to be separated because they each need the other defendant’s testimony.

In a joint trial, the defendants can exercise their right not to incriminate themselves with testimony, which would leave the defense at a disadvantage.

Baraga County Prosecutor Joseph O’Leary said if Fish and Waupoose committed the crime together, they should be on trial together.

“There is a presumption that these trials should be joined and that’s what the court should come from. That presumption needs to be overcome by a showing not just of prejudice. Every piece of evidence I put into a trial is going to prejudice these guys. Unfair prejudice is what the standard is,” he said.

After much deliberation between the counsels, Judge Charles Goodman decided both sides should create a briefing with all of their points to their argument.

O’Leary will have until April 30 to submit his and the defense will have two weeks after to submit theirs.

Judge Goodman will make his decision on splitting the cases by the middle of next month. The trial is set to take place in June.