Associated Press, Published May 07 2012
Judge denies venue change in upcoming Jamestown murder trialJAMESTOWN, N.D. — A judge is refusing to move the murder trial of a Jamestown man out of Stutsman County.
Thirty-four-year-old Leron Howard has pleaded not guilty to murder and criminal conspiracy in the April 2011 death of Abdi Ali Ahmed. Authorities say the body of the Somali immigrant was found in a ditch near Spiritwood. He had been hit on the head and stabbed.
Defense attorney Steve Mottinger asked Judge Thomas Merrick to move the trial because of local news coverage about the case. Merrick denied the request.
One person has already been convicted in the case. A jury in Jamestown in February found 22-year-old Janelle Cave guilty of manslaughter and criminal conspiracy. Howard is to stand trial beginning Aug. 14.