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Trial for man accused in Minot deaths begins

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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MINOT (AP) — Jury selection started Wednesday in the trial of a Somali man accused of killing the mother of his child and three other people in Minot two years ago.

Omar Mohamed Kalmio, 28, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the shooting deaths of 19-year-old Sabrina Zephier, her brother, mother and her mother’s boyfriend.

Zephier’s body was found in her home on Jan. 28, 2011. The baby was unharmed. The bodies of the others were found the same day in another home.

More than 200 jury questionnaires were sent out to potential jurors over the past few months. Out of those, 104 people were summoned for the initial round of jury selection.

Kalmio is a Somali national who says he is in the U.S. under political asylum. Authorities say he had been working at an oil rig site near Williston.

Defense Attorney Kerry Rosenquist spent much of his time addressing social media.

“Any of you believe that everything you read on the Internet, Twitter, or see on the news is the truth and it needs to be believed?” Rosenquist asked the potential jurors, according to a KXMC story.

Prosecutor Kelly Dillion from the Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office outlined the burden of proof the state must meet for a guilty verdict.

Opening statements could begin Friday afternoon or Monday.

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