Supreme Court Hears Kalmio Appeal - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Supreme Court Hears Kalmio Appeal

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The North Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments today on an appeal to murder convictions of Omar Kalmio.

Kalmio is serving a life sentence in prison for the murders of four people in Minot in 2011.

Meeting at UND's Law School the Justices heard arguments, and had questions for assistant Ward County State's Attorney Kelly Dillon and Russel Myhre representing Kalmio.

Myhre argued that District Court Judge Doug Mattson improperly admitted hearsay evidence about Kalmio's past.

He also claimed there was insufficient evidence for a conviction and that Kalmio was not allowed to give an alibi.

But Justices quizzed Myhre about his assertions, including whether Kalmio could be convicted on purely circumstantial evidence.

(Russell Myhre, Attorney for Kalmio) "The entire case is based on circumstantial evidence. We were arguing that..."(Dale Sandstrom, ND Supreme Court Justice) "You've raised that several times but you don't dispute that a case can be based entirely on circumstantial evidence?"(Russell Myhre, Attorney for Kalmio) "Yes I would agree that a case can be based entirely on circumstantial evidence, but this court has addressed it several times..." (Dale Sandstrom, ND Supreme Court Justice) "And we said it's, a case can be based entirely on circumstantial evidence."

Justices also had tough questions for prosecutor Dillon.

After Dillon said, explaining motive to jurors helped to color in the picture of the crime, Justice Carol Kapsner said it seems that quote, color, unquote, was all the prosecution seemed to have.

(Carol Kapsner, ND Supreme Court Justice) "Color...and not much fact that can point to anything around the murders themselves." (Kelly Dillon, Prosecutor) "All of these people were killed with the same weapon. The only connection between these four people is this defendant."

The State Supreme Court is likely to rule on Kalmio's appeal in the next few months.

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