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Associated Press, Published July 12 2010

Trial date set in Wishek killing

ASHLEY, N.D. — A man who pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of a Wishek man is scheduled to stand trial beginning Nov. 30.

Twenty-seven-year-old Nicholas Caspers is charged in the Feb. 28 death of 30-year-old Paul Varner.

Authorities allege that Caspers went to Varner's home and punched him. The state medical examiner says the broken bones in Varners' face caused him to suffocate. An attorney for Caspers has said his client acted in self-defense.

Varner originally was from Pierz, Minn., and was working at Wishek Livestock Sales, which is owned by his father, Joe. Caspers is an auctioneer with South Dakota-based Mobridge Livestock Market. He was the 2008 South Dakota Auctioneers Association bid calling champion.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.