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Firkus pleads not guilty in St. Paul cold case murder

Judge approves camera in court for hearings as 2022 trial is set

ST PAUL, Minn. — The family of Heidi Firkus packed the courtroom for a Tuesday hearing. Her parents came face to face with the man they believe killed their daughter as he told a judge he didn't do it.

“As to count one, Murder in the First Degree, premeditated, guilty or not guilty?” asked Judge Leonardo Castro.

“Not guilty,” replied Nick FIrkus, while seated next to his high-profile defense attorney Joe Friedberg.

Firkus is charged with 1st and 2nd Degree Murder in the death of his wife Heidi in April 2010.

He told investigators back then that an intruder broke into their St. Paul house. Nick struggled with him while holding a gun, and the gun went off, killing Heidi.

Nick even used a private sketch artist to render a composite looking very similar to a known St. Paul burglar at that time, a man who was already in jail and could not have done it.

Now prosecutors want to use Firkus' second wife as a witness to show he lied, concealed financial problems, and used financial control with her, just like he did with Heidi.

She was killed the day before they were set to be evicted and locked out of their home. Prosecutors say there's no evidence Heidi even knew.

The trial is now set for July 6, 2022, and Judge Leonardo Castro signed an unprecedented order allowing KARE 11 to have a camera in court for every hearing leading up to and including the trial.

Friedberg made it clear he now will fight that.

“I'm asking about – to get the cameras out of the courtroom,” Friedberg said to the judge.

“If there's an objection to the media coverage inside the courtroom, we should probably hear that sooner than later,” Judge Castro replied.