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Grand Forks Herald, Published October 13 2011

Grafton man faces attempted murder charge for shooting at neighbor in stolen tire dispute

GRAFTON, N.D. - A Grafton man faces attempted murder and terrorizing charges for allegedly driving his neighbor out of town and shooting at him in a dispute involving four stolen tires.

Esteban Fermin Dominguez, who made an appearance in Walsh County Court today, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the Walsh County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Court documents state David Nelson Jr., of Grafton, told the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department that he received a text from Dominguez at approximately 7 p.m. on Aug. 4, asking Nelson to go for a ride with him.

Nelson considered Dominguez a friend and the two had gone for rides in the past and shared lawn mowing equipment and tools.

In an affidavit, Nelson told authorities Dominguez drove and the two were joined by a third man, Raymond Scott Wynne.

The trio headed north of Grafton on U.S. Highway 81. Nelson stated that Dominguez, who he called “Ese,” asked to borrow his cellphone.

Dominguez made a phone call speaking in Spanish, the affidavit says, and when Nelson asked for his phone back, Dominguez claimed he was expecting a call back.

Nelson told the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department that Dominguez drove the car to County Road 9 and 151st Avenue Northeast in the Farmington Township and pulled onto a field approach.

While in the vehicle, he started accusing Nelson of stealing rims from his car.

The three got out of the car and the confrontation escalated. In the affidavit, Nelson told authorities he ran to try to get away from Dominguez, who was born in 1982, according to court documents. He said Wynne, from Grafton and born in 1993, chased him around farm buildings near the approach but couldn’t catch Nelson, who ran across the road and into the ditch on the other side.

He told authorities that Dominguez lured him back, saying that if he was innocent, they could talk. Nelson claimed he didn’t steal the items so he returned, according to the affidavit. Nelson said Dominguez then retrieved a rifle from his car and was threatening him with it.

Nelson said a car neared the approach and he tried to flag the vehicle down for help but the female driver did not stop.

In the affidavit, Nelson told authorities Dominguez continued to threaten him and he ran in to a field, where he was shot at approximately four times.

Nelson stated he went to the ground and continued lying in the field, hoping Dominguez would stop shooting if he thought Nelson was hit.

Nelson said in the affidavit that he saw Wynne, who has been charged as an accomplice in the case, and Dominguez congratulate each other, and leave in Dominguez’s car. Nelson returned to Grafton on foot.

Court documents state that Nelson was visibly shaken when he reported the incident the next day.

A search of the incident site by the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department showed disturbances and footprints consistent with Nelson’s description, documents show.

According to the sheriff’s department, Nelson was on probation with the North Dakota Department of Corrections at the time of the incident.

On Aug, 1, the Grafton Police Department filed a report about tires being taken from an unlocked storage shed behind Dominguez’ house, the sheriff’s office said.

Dominguez is also facing possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia charges stemming from a search of his residence the day after the alleged incident.

Authorities confiscated between 1½ and 2 ounces of marijuana from his residence during the search.