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Fargo man charged with killing his dad to undergo mental evaluation

Christopher Riley appears Jan. 31 in Cass County District Court in Fargo. He's charged with murdering his father. Forum file photo

FARGO — A 35-year-old Fargo man accused of killing his father will receive an evaluation to determine his mental condition and any possible mental defect at the time of the alleged crime.

Christopher Blaine Riley is charged with a Class AA felony of intentional murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charge in November.

A trial slated to begin April 16 has been delayed until July so Riley can be sent to the North Dakota State Hospital for a mental health evaluation, court documents stated.

Besides trying to determine Riley’s current mental condition and whether he had a “mental disease or defect” at the time of the alleged murder, the evaluation will also look into whether Riley is mentally fit enough to participate in his own defense, court documents stated.

Riley was charged after authorities responded to a call on Sept. 21 for a possible suicide at an apartment and found 60-year-old Kevin Riley Sr., Riley’s father, deceased and covered with a white sheet, court documents stated.

Christopher Riley called authorities to report the death and at first told them he was on his way to the apartment, court documents stated.

Police called the younger Riley when he failed to show. And Riley told police his father was living with him and using drugs, and that he didn’t want them searching his apartment because he didn’t want any meth found to be pinned on him, according to court documents.

Riley subsequently told police he wasn’t coming to the apartment and would only talk by phone, court documents stated.

At the apartment on Sept. 21, police found a pistol with blood on it about 6 feet from Riley Sr.’s body, court documents stated. Police believe the gun was used in the shooting.

Police also found signs that a fight took place in the apartment, and the trajectory of the bullet indicated Riley Sr. likely didn’t kill himself, court documents stated.

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