A new judge has taken over the case of a Minnesota man accused of attacking a North Dakota priest in his Anamoose church.
Jim Olson was in the courtroom this morning as the new judge held his first hearing in the case.
Judge Donovan Foughty was assigned to the case of Chad Legare after the original judge, Michael Hurly, disqualified himself from the case.
Today in court, Legare and his court appointed attorney listened as the judge listed the three charges against Legare – Burglary, Aggravated Assault, and Attempted Murder.
Investigators say Legare broke into the Catholic Church in Anamoose and used a speaker wire to choke Father Robert Wapenski who required brief hospital treatment for his wounds.
At his first court appearance last month, Legare accused Father Wapenski of raping a woman – a charge investigated by agents who were told by the alleged victim she wouldn’t testify to any rape happening.
In court today, Legare’s attorney asked that his bond be reduced from $250,000 to $100,000, saying he is not a flight risk.
Prosecutor Joshua Frey disagreed saying Legare left the state after the crime was discovered.
(Joshua Frey, Prosecutor) “The defendant did flee back to Minnesota where he was apprehended. The state has concern that if we release him on a lower bond, he would flee again.”
(William Hartl, Defense Attorney) “With Mr. Legere being a Minnesota resident, it stands to reason that he would return to Minnesota. It’s not a fleeing, it’s not a matter of fleeing the North Dakota jurisdiction.”
Judge Foughty said given the severity of the crimes he’s accused of, Legare’s bond should remain relatively high – although he did reduce it from $250,000 to $200,000.
Legare is being held a the regional jail in Rugby.
The court set the preliminary hearing and arraignment for April 19th in Towner.
That’s when Legare could enter pleas to the three charges against him.