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Forum staff reports, Published August 20 2012

Man convicted in 1997 Fargo murders loses bid for DNA evidence test

BISMARCK – A man convicted of killing two Fargo men and torching their apartment has been turned down in his bid for a new DNA test of some evidence in his case.

Dale Burke is serving a life prison sentence without parole for the April 1997 deaths of Lawrence Nelson and Edmund Huotari.

Prosecutors had a pair of Burke’s bloodstained jeans at his trial. DNA testing showed the blood was probably Huotari’s blood.

Burke claimed during his trial that Huotari bled on his jeans when Huotari cut himself with a carpet knife.

Burke is now saying he misspoke and he doesn’t think the blood was Huotari’s. Burke asked for more sophisticated DNA testing on the jeans to back up his theory.

North Dakota’s Supreme Court rejected the testing request Friday.