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Associated Press, Published September 21 2010

ND man pleads not guilty to killing brother

GRAND FORKS (AP) — A rural Manvel man accused of killing his brother in a dispute over property has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that Rodney Chisholm, 45, also pleaded not guilty on Monday to several theft charges related to stolen farm equipment.

Court documents say Chisholm told investigators he killed his 59-year-old brother, Donald, in late June by either hitting him in the head with a metal pipe, strangling him or a combination of the two. Chisholm has told the Grand Forks Herald that he acted in self-defense after a dispute over property.

Chisholm was arrested July 2 on suspicion of possessing more than $100,000 in farm equipment stolen in North Dakota and Minnesota. He was released from jail on bail the following day, then allegedly stole a relative's car and drove to Nebraska, where he was arrested a day later.

He told the Herald he was going to visit a high school friend in California, and was hoping to borrow enough money to hire a lawyer. He also wanted the therapy of a road trip.

Authorities said Donald Chisholm's body was found July 7 on family property northeast of Mekinock. He had not been heard from since June 25. Rodney Chisholm was charged with murder on July 8.

Chisholm told the Herald that he did not report his brother's death because he did not trust the sheriff's department.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4 in Grand Forks.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.