Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — Entering the fifth year since his mother's death, accused murderer Christopher Vick is less than a month from trial and has been granted special accommodations. At a motion hearing Wednesday morning at the Morton County Courthouse, South Central District Judge Thomas Schneider granted the defense's two motions, allowing Vick to appear in plainclothes at trial, free of visible restraints. Prosecutor Julie Lawyer raised no objection. "Of course, that will change if there are any outbursts during trial," she said.
BISMARCK — Two months after an officer-involved shooting in Bismarck, Burleigh County State's Attorney Richard Riha has found the shooting was justified. Riha wrote Thursday, Dec. 21, to Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin that upon review of motel surveillance and police vehicle videos, "the videos leave no doubt that the officer acted appropriately." Suspected attacker Donald Miller approached Bismarck Police officer Justin Antonovich in his patrol vehicle on Oct. 15 at the Bismarck Motor Motel, where Antonovich had arrived on an unrelated call.
BISMARCK—District of North Dakota Chief Judge Daniel Hovland has denied two motions to suppress evidence and statements from Red Fawn Fallis from when she was arrested at a pipeline protest last year. Fallis, 38, is accused of shooting a handgun at officers during her arrest on Oct. 27, 2016, in a fray alongside State Highway 1806 north of Cannon Ball. Hovland's federal court order came Friday, finding that Fallis' "voluntary" statements weren't derived from interrogation, and therefore are admissible at trial next month.
BISMARCK — With about a week to trial, a former Beulah police officer won't have his statements suppressed from an interview with investigators in which he admitted to sexual contact with a teenager. Dustin Pekas, 36, was Beulah's lead police officer at the time of the interview in mid-September. He sought to suppress his statements to two North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents up until he requested counsel, alleging the interview was custodial.
BISMARCK — Lore Hornung recalls with fondness her childhood in Germany. The 88-year-old Jamestown woman was 10 when World War II began. She grew up in Bad Rappenau and remembers counting airplanes overhead and her activities with the Jungmadel, a division of the Hitler Youth for girls. "That is actually like the Girl Scouts," Hornung said, a German lilt still strong in her voice. "We went in the woods and we went singing and we went out in the fields and helped the farmers and we went swimming and stuff like that. For Christmas, we made stuff for kids."
MANDAN, N.D.—Former Beulah Lead Police Officer Dustin Pekas, who has had his peace officer's license revoked, testified Monday in a motion hearing to suppress statements he made to investigators last fall. Pekas, 36, was fired in mid-September after he reportedly admitted to sexual contact with a teenage girl. He is charged with felony sexual assault and set for trial Jan. 4.
BISMARCK—Britney Loghry and her sisters will never share another moment with their mother, Misty Coffelt. In a statement she read Friday afternoon at Morris Brickle-Hicks' sentencing, Loghry told her mother's murderer what he took from her family. Birthdays. Coffelt's visits with her grandchildren. Drinks on Loghry's 21st birthday. "You took all those happy moments we could have ever had and you made sad ones, and I would love to have those back," she told Brickle-Hicks, seated across the courtroom.
MANDAN — The man injured in a Mandan shooting has been criminally charged in what police have described as a "complex" incident that involved as many as six or seven people. Spencer Carl James St. Claire, 22, of Bismarck, faces a charge of felony criminal trespass. He and two or three other men knocked on the door of 18-year-old Eric Harrison Jr.'s mobile home just before 6 a.m. Dec. 2 on the 800 block of Poplar Street in Mandan, wanting in from the cold, according to court documents.
BISMARCK—Kristina Kratz is finally able to tell her 8-year-old daughter how her father died, but that information came as a shock. Mike Lang, 47, was an inmate at the Burleigh-Morton County Detention Center when he had a seizure at the jail, went into a coma and died Sept. 13 after a week in the hospital and days of testing. His family said he also had pneumonia, low blood sugar, a cut on the back of his head, a broken nose, broken cheek bones and broken ribs.
BISMARCK — One day after an apartment fire, a resident of the building has been charged with setting the blaze in an alleged attempt to kill his roommate. Darren Michael Weber, 42, of Bismarck, is charged with Class B felony endangering by fire or explosion as well as four other felony counts in violation of a court order. Weber and his roommate are registered sex offenders who lived together in a unit at the apartment house at 501 Memorial Highway in Bismarck, where firefighters and police responded around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday to the fire.