Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — Whiteout wintry conditions caused issues Monday, March 5, for some court proceedings, but one defendant still entered his not guilty pleas. In a waiver filed Friday, 22-year-old Ulises Villalobos-Alvarado waived his preliminary hearing set for Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder and fleeing a peace officer.
BISMARCK—Sally Holewa says North Dakota's South Central Judicial District needs three bodies and one toe. "They definitely have the biggest overall shortage as far as judicial bodies, that's for sure," the state court administrator said.
BISMARCK—Precipitation, including snow and freezing rain, is likely to impact North Dakota beginning late Saturday night, possibly lingering through Monday night. Developing from a storm system over the Rocky Mountains and emerging onto the Northern Plains, snow is likely to start Saturday night, according to meteorologist Janine Vining, of the Bismarck National Weather Service.
BISMARCK—Kevin Decker's probation ended one month before the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld his trial and misdemeanor conviction related to a Dakota Access Pipeline protest. One of the first defendants arrested and charged from the monthslong demonstrations, Decker was convicted at trial a year ago of disorderly conduct. He appealed, alleging insufficient evidence and a "closed" courtroom as one man was denied entry during jury selection. Justices heard arguments in November and issued differing opinions on Thursday.
BISMARCK—One of four men charged in connection to deer poaching at the Dakota Access protest camps is the first to resolve his case. Danny LeClaire, of Pocatello, Idaho, was charged a year ago with misdemeanor unlawful taking of a big game animal. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick approved a pretrial diversion agreement filed by Morton County State's Attorney Al Koppy.
BISMARCK — Following state Sen. Kelly Armstrong's resignation Tuesday as state Republican party chair, the party will hold a special election to fill the remainder of his term. According to the party's bylaws, NDGOP first vice chair Jim Poolman is now acting chair, he confirmed Thursday. "We will set up a special election to permanently fill that role within the next month," he said of the timing, which will take place before the party's convention in April in Grand Forks.
BISMARCK—Critics of Marsy's Law say its ambiguity for prosecutors is leading to withheld public information, while those attorneys say they want more clarity on the victim rights law. While Marsy's Law enshrines victim's rights in the state constitution, representatives of the North Dakota Newspaper Association say its transparency issues have "chipped away" at North Dakota's "thoughtfully devised" laws and rules on open meetings and public records.
BISMARCK — In response to a "C" grade for election security from the Center for American Progress, North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said this week that he stands by the state's protective measures at the polls, also disputing concerns the CAP raised in its analysis. "We don't have systems that can be penetrated to change the results," Jaeger said Tuesday, Feb. 13. "We don't have voter registration, so there's nothing in that system that they can change, and our records are behind a firewall or a protection of the state."
ALEXANDER, N.D.—A school resource officer arrested a teacher at the Alexander Public School this week for allegedly having marijuana and related items in employee housing around her children. Regie Hill, 32, of Alexander, is held at the McKenzie County Correctional Facility, charged with felony endangerment of a child or vulnerable adult and misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.
BISMARCK—Five months after the death of an inmate of the Burleigh-Morton County Detention Center, a state investigation into his death has concluded. Family members of the deceased have varied opinions on the results. Mike Lang, 47, was taken off of life support and died Sept. 13, following a week in the hospital and days of testing after he had a medical event at the jail and subsequently went into a coma. His family said he had diabetes, pneumonia, low blood sugar, a cut on the back of his head, a broken nose, broken cheek bones and broken ribs.