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Bryan Horwath, Forum News Service, Published June 21 2013

Missouri man's attempted murder trial in Hettinger avoided with guilty pleas to lesser charges

HETTINGER,N.D. — A man who was facing multiple felonies, including an attempted murder charge, pleaded guilty to a pair of lesser crimes at the Adams County Courthouse on Wednesday.

Kevin R. Gardner, listed as a Missouri resident in the most recent court records, agreed to plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault and one count of misdemeanor menacing just before he was to stand trial over a November incident in which the state alleged he put a gun to a Hettinger woman’s head and pulled the trigger.

Gardner agreed to the deal while jury members selected Wednesday were receiving instructions from the court, said Adams County Clerk of Court Ginger Dangerud.

Felony counts of attempted murder, reckless endangerment and terrorizing against Gardner were dropped under terms of the settlement.

After credit for time already served, Gardner was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation, Dangerud said.

Gardner was set to represent himself at trial, though public defender Kevin McCabe was available as “backup representation.” Gardner had previously been listed in court documents as a Dickinson resident.