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Court waits again on mental evaluation in Habiger murder trial

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Daniel Habiger appears Monday, July 16, in Cass County District Court in Fargo on charges that he murdered Jarryd Heis in March. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 2

FARGO – A lawyer for Daniel Habiger, a 29-year-old Fargo man accused of killing another man during a fight in March, said Monday, July 16, that he still hasn’t received a report on an independent mental evaluation done on his client.

Cass County District Judge Frank Racek agreed to let the defense present that report at an Aug. 7 hearing.

Habiger’s attorney, Scott Brand, said the evaluation has been completed, but he has not been given the report yet. Brand declined to say whether he believed his client is competent to be tried on the murder charge, a Class AA felony.

Two evaluations done by the state were completed earlier, though there were also delays in that process. One evaluation was done to determine whether Habiger is criminally responsible for his actions and a second to see whether he can assist in his own defense.

Habiger is accused of killing 32-year-old Jarryd Heis on March 2 during a fight in Habiger’s north Fargo apartment.

On March 2, Habiger called 911 from a gas station, reporting that he had killed someone at his apartment at 701 10th St. N., court documents said.

Habiger told investigators that he, Heis and another man had been drinking. Habiger said Heis threatened him and his family, court documents said.

Habiger told police he “choked out” Heis and kicked him in the head after he choked him, because Heis was still moving, court documents said.

Habiger faces a maximum prison sentence of life without parole. His bail was set at $1 million cash, and he remains in custody at the Cass County Jail.

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