Prosecution Rests in Samshal Attempted Murder CaseThe prosecution rested its attempted murder case against Travis Samshal just before noon today after calling seven witnesses Tuesday and this morning.
By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald
The prosecution rested its attempted murder case against Travis Samshal just before noon today after calling seven witnesses Tuesday and this morning.
Samshal's attorneys will begin calling their witnesses this afternoon.
Samshal, 27, faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of the Class A felony; he also faces a Class C felony charge of reckless endangerment.
He has admitted firing his hunting rifle toward his roommate Leo Franco from a few feet away from inside his bedroom Dec. 14, but says he did it out of fear for his own safety and did not intend to kill Franco, according to a recorded police interview played in court. It's not known if he will testify in his own defense.
Grand Forks Police Detective Steve Conley testified this morning that his measurements showed the rifle bullet rose slightly as it passed by Franco, went through a closet door and wall before lodging in a steel electrical box in their apartment on South 17th Street.
Officer Cody Cannon, a weapons specialist for the police department, testified that Samshal's Ruger 7 mm rifle was for hunting deer and its bullets had an "effective" killing range of 1,000 yards and a maximum ballistic range of 3.5 miles.
Samshal's attorney Blake Hankey cross-examined the police officers seeking to show that it would likely take some effort to miss a target only a few feet away when firing such a rifle.
Judge Kleven said the proceedings will end slightly early this afternoon because some of the jurors and attorneys involved have young children with a full Halloween schedule planned.