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Defendant accused of killing two will take the stand

July 2, 2021 GMT

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The attorney for a man accused of killing his mother and a Grand Forks police officer says the defendant will take that stand to testify during the trial which got underway this week.

Salamah Pendleton is accused of shooting at officers who were trying to execute an order to evict him and his mother, Lola Moore, from a Grand Forks apartment in May of last year. Moore and Officer Cody Holte were killed during an exchange of gunfire. Another officer was wounded in the shootout.

Defense attorney, Steven Mottinger, told jurors Thursday that Pendleton won’t deny he fired a rifle, but that perspective and sequence of events will be important for jurors to remember.

“He’s got a story to tell. He wants to tell it. And, we’re looking forward to you hearing it,” Mottinger said.

Police say Pendleton fired 41 rounds from an AK-47.

Prosecutor Carmell Mattison emphasized the state’s reliance on photos and videos as evidence in the trial. Multiple clips of detailed and graphic body camera footage from the scene were shown to the jury, KVRR-TV reported.

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“Many rounds, you can tell there were a lot of different weapons firing up there,” said Grand Forks Sheriff’s Dep. Blake Buchmeier, one of the witnesses the state called Thursday.

Pendleton faces two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder as well as criminal mischief, terrorizing, reckless endangerment and possession with intent to deliver or manufacture marijuana.