Chisholm Found Guilty of Murdering BrotherA man accused of beating his older brother to death with a steel pipe in a dispute over land was found guilty of murder, and could face life and prison.
By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A man accused of beating his older brother to death with a steel pipe in a dispute over land was found guilty of murder, and could face life and prison.
A jury deliberated for about 5 hours before delivering its verdict Tuesday convicting Manvel's Rodney Chisholm, 45, of murdering his 59-year-old brother, Donald Chisholm, last summer. Chisholm showed no reaction to the verdict, the Grand Forks Herald reported.
Chisholm testified for six hours in his own defense during the trial and said the killing last June 24 was self-defense. He told the jury that Donald Chisholm was addicted to prescription drugs and went into a rage the day of the confrontation.
Defense attorney Steven Light told the jury in his closing argument that he wasn't contesting the "what, the where, the how" of the killing but the "why."
"I'm sorry, but that man (Donald Chisholm) contributed to the cause of his own demise," Light said. Defense witnesses, including four Chisholm siblings and two former neighbors of Donald Chisholm, described him as a "creep," a man "crazed and obsessed" over anything concerning his property "or what he thought was his property," Light said.
Prosecutor Jason McCarthy said Chisholm told investigators he wrestled with his brother for 10 to 15 minutes, bound his wrists to his belt loops, hit his brother several times in the head, heard a death sigh, then fastened a hose clamp around his brother's neck, tightening the screw.
"This case is about more than just murder. It's about overkill," McCarthy said. "With every turn of the screwdriver, the defendant communicated and clearly displayed his intent to kill."
Chisholm could face life in prison. A sentencing date was not immediately set. He is being held without bond.
Chisholm also is to stand trial this summer on five counts of property theft. Authorities allege that more than $100,000 worth of farm equipment, vehicles and other items were found on rural sites near Manvel used by Rodney Chisholm. He was arrested on those charges in Nebraska last July after he had fled North Dakota following the killing.