Jury selection in murder trial begins
Jury selection in the trial of Tyler James Webster began today at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Webster, 33, of Fairfield, is charged with the first-degree murder of Buddy Lee Frisbie, age 32, also of Fairfield.
According to a press release from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson County Law Center received a 911 call at 7:28 p.m. Aug. 25 reporting a shooting at 2469 Marigold Blvd., just south of the Fairfield Wastewater Treatment Plant, about 3 miles southeast of Fairfield.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded and found a deceased male, who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds, according to press releases from the county attorney’s office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
According to documents filed with the Jefferson County Clerk of Court, Webster called 911 and stated he had just shot a man and that the subject was deceased. He also stated the handgun was in the glovebox of his pickup, a 2001 Mazda B30.
When law enforcement personnel arrived on the scene, a .45-caliber semi-automatic Sig Sauer handgun was found in the glovebox, according to court documents.
See future editions of The Ledger for more coverage of this trial.
The documents also state Webster told law enforcement personnel he shot Frisbie twice in the face.
ble cause to believe Webster committed the crime. However, a preliminary hearing is canceled if the state files trial information, which serves the same purpose. In Jefferson County, the preliminary hearing is rarely held. At the preliminary hearing or after signing off on trial information, the judge will set an arraignment date. This can be done by any available magistrate or district judge.
McAvan said there is no guarantee Webster will appear at the preliminary hearing.
According to court files, the state public defenders office out of Ottumwa will defend Webster.
McAvan said the investigation is continuing.
“An autopsy has been scheduled, and more information is still coming in,” he said. “We have an idea of a story [for the shooting] in general, but the motive is something that comes out in court.”
Both Webster and Frisbie have had a number of previous arrests. According to online court records, Webster does not appear to have a history of arrests for violent or serious crimes in Iowa.
The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office issued a reminder: a criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Fairfield Police Department, Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, Jefferson County Police Reserves, Jefferson County Area Ambulance Service, the state and local medical examiner’s office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
Washington County Communications Supervisor Cara Sorrells reported due to a problem with the communications system, the 911 call regarding the shooting Saturday night was received at the Washington County Communications Center. Sorrells said dispatchers took the information and went point-to-point, a special communications system that allows interagency communications, with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to give them the information.
“In a situation like that, we don’t try to transfer the call,” Sorrells said. “We don’t want to risk losing the caller.”
“The Washington County dispatcher did an excellent, excellent job,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Jerry Droz.
Droz explained because the 911 call was made on a cell phone, the nearest tower directs where the call is sent. The tower first directed the call to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office. The dispatcher there attempted to transfer the call to Jefferson County, but it went to Washington County instead.
“It’s not unusual for 911 calls from cell phones to be misdirected,” said Droz. “But the dispatchers are trained for this, and they can push a couple of buttons and things happen. … We got rolling and were on scene immediately. It was flawless.”
Droz said communication technology experts know about the problem and are trying to reach a solution.
Frisbie, is the son of Kevin and Reanea Frisbie of Fairfield and Elisa and Edward Bussell of Preston, Mo., and the father of Lidiya Frisbie of Fairfield, Cruz Frisbie of Alta and Brandon Lee Frisbie of East Moline, Ill.
Visitation is set from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Behner Funeral Home, and the funeral is set for 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.