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Murder trial date set for man charged in mass shooting at Buffalo, Minn., medical clinic

13January 2022

The murder trial is now set for a man charged with a mass shooting last year at a medical clinic west of the Twin Cities in Buffalo.

Gregory P. Ulrich, 68, is scheduled to go on trial May 16 in Wright County District Court on charges of first-degree murder, numerous attempted murder counts and other charges in connection with the Feb. 9 assault at Allina Health Clinic that killed one staff member and injured four.

Conviction by jurors on just the first-degree murder count would mean a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Ulrich, who remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bail.

Prosecutors have alleged that Ulrich set off explosive devices — two in the lobby, a third in an adjacent workstation — in about six minutes from the time he entered the building, started shooting and surrendered to officers arriving in the parking lot.

In August, his defense decided not to fight a court ruling that Ulrich was mentally competent to stand trial. If Ulrich had been deemed incompetent, a treatment regimen would have been required to help him attain or maintain competence in order for the case to proceed.

Court records portray the man as a scofflaw with mental health and substance abuse problems who frequently called police to report unfounded thefts or minor quarrels with his neighbors in Buffalo, medical aides, tenants and others.

Also, a former roommate told the Star Tribune that Ulrich was an addict and mad because a doctor refused to give him enough painkillers.

Lindsay Overbay, a 37-year-old medical assistant at the clinic, was fatally shot in the assault. The other staff members wounded were Tammy Schaufler, Sherry Curtis, Antonya Fransen-Pruden and Jennifer Gibson.

County Attorney Brian Lutes said Thursday that Judge Catherine McPherson has blocked out four weeks for the trial, with a fair amount of that time expected to be consumed by jury selection.

“No specific time was set aside for jury selection,” Lutes said, “but that process is time-consuming due to the large number of strikes provided in first-degree murder cases and because jurors are typically questioned individually as opposed to part of a panel.”

Lawyers on each side are given by the judge a certain number of strikes that they can use during jury questioning to dismiss a potential juror without having to explain why.

Also, Lutes said, “jury selection will be complicated by the notoriety of this case.”

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