Flatoff trial scheduled to begin next week

Brian Flatoff appeared in Winnebago County court for a motion hearing, March 2, 2018. (WLUK)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- A trial is scheduled to begin next week for Brian Flatoff.

Friday he appeared in Winnebago County Court for a motion hearing.

Flatoff is charged in the death of Michael Funk. Funk died during a hostage situation at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah in December, 2015.

Defendant Brian Flatoff says he is not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Flatoff is also acting as his own defense attorney, known in legal terms as 'pro se.'

"I've tried about 100 jury trials and I think this will be my second one with somebody pro se," said prosecutor Scott Ceman who told FOX 11 News this somewhat unusual circumstance adds another challenge to the trial, for both sides, "The law states that they have to be treated like an attorney with that knowledge, which it's clear they don't have. So you try to balance, you know, helping them through the trial, but at the same point with the understanding you don't represent them, you represent the state."

Flatoff is facing a murder charge for the death of Michael "ML" Funk. Funk was shot and killed by police during a standoff at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah. Flatoff is accused of starting the standoff, ultimately leading to Funk's death.

Friday Flatoff and Ceman discussed potential jurors with the judge in Winnebago County Court. There was some concern publicity of the case may have tainted the jury pool.

"We've got a lot of information now regarding just what the jurors have heard about this and, so, especially after reading their statements, because it was approximately 90 questions to over 100 people," Ceman explained.

Friday the judge narrowed down the pool from 102 potential jurors to 79.

"And to make sure that anybody that may have heard or read something, or formed an opinion didn't contaminate the rest of the unbiased pool," Ceman told us.

Those 79 potential jurors will be called in Monday and will eventually be narrowed down to 12 jurors and 2 alternates.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday morning at the Winnebago County courthouse.

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