ND Supreme Court Filings

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The North Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the ten-year sentence of an Adams (ND) man charged in the death of his daughter in May 2019. Steven Aune appealed his “guilty” verdict for manslaughter to the state’s high court. He was accused of shooting his daughter during an argument. A jury returned the “guilty” verdict in January. Aune was sentenced in June. In his appeal the defendant argued his criminal history was one of the factors relied upon by the court to give a maximum sentence. In issuing the ruling the court wrote Aune was not given an enhanced sentence based upon his criminal history.

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In a separate opinion the court affirmed the dismissal of a Devils Lake police officer who was fired after he killed an unarmed man during a 2018 arrest. The city declined to file charges against Brandon Potts in connection with the incident. Potts claimed wrongful termination for acting in self-defense while trying to protect his community. In a majority opinion the court noted that North Dakota law has no public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine for law enforcement officers who act in self-defense.

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