MINOT, ND (KXNET) — Attorneys in the Nichole Rice murder case met in court today over challenges to DNA evidence to be used in her trial next year.

Rice is accused of killing Anita Knutson, her roommate at the time, in early June 2007 after her body and a pocketknife covered in dried blood were found in their Minot apartment. After 15 years, police arrested Rice on March 16, 2022 for the murder of Knutson.

Rice’s legal team had filed a Motion To Dismiss the DNA evidence and the hearing today was to go over arguments regarding the validity and accuracy of that evidence.

The defense called DNA expert Monty Miller who testified that the state’s assertion Nichole Rice’s DNA could not be excluded from the collected DNA evidence was incorrect.

Miller said every DNA report showed either Nichole Rice is excluded from the DNA profile collected or that the test was inconclusive. 

However, the state called in forensics expert Amy Gebhardt who said, while 2016 DNA reports excluded Nichole Rice, forensic technology advancements since then showed in a 2023 DNA report that Nichole Rice could not be excluded from the results.

The defense was given 10 days to review the testimony and submit a formal motion on the issue. If the defense does submit a formal Motion To Dismiss, the state has 10 days from then to respond.

Rice’s trial for Knutson’s murder is scheduled for July 15, 2024 and will run until August 2, 2024.