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Suspect in killing of 4 in ND pleads not guilty

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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A Somali man accused of killing the mother of his child and three other people in Minot last year has pleaded not guilty to murder in all of the deaths.

Omar Mohamed Kalmio, 27, is accused of killing Sabrina Zephier, the 19-year-old mother of his infant daughter; along with Zephier's 13-year-old brother, Dillon Zephier; 38-year-old mother, Jolene Zephier; and Jolene's 22-year-old boyfriend, Jeremy Longie, The Zephiers were members of South Dakota's Yankton Sioux Tribe.

Kalmio's trial is set to begin Oct. 15. Court documents indicate it is expected to last three weeks. Judge Douglas Mattson on Tuesday told attorneys he will be sending questionnaires to nearly 200 potential jurors by the end of the week.

Sabrina Zephier was found dead in her home on Jan. 28, 2011. The baby was found there unharmed. The bodies of the other three victims were found the same day in a home in another part of the city. All four of the victims had been shot.

Kalmio pleaded not guilty to murder in Sabrina Zephier's death last October. He was not charged in the other three deaths until last month. He entered his not guilty pleas to those slayings on Tuesday, after his attorneys waived his preliminary hearing. He is being held without bond.

Kalmio is a Somali national who says he is in the country under political asylum. He was arrested last August at the jail in Grand Forks, where he had been held since February 2011 for an alleged immigration violation stemming from a 2006 assault conviction in a Minneapolis stabbing

Police contend in court documents that a witness claimed Kalmio and Sabrina Zephier had argued days before she her death. Kalmio's co-workers at an oil rig site near Williston told investigators that Kalmio allegedly told them that Sabrina Zephier had been shot in the head, when that information was not public knowledge.


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