BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — Convicted murderer Milo Whitetail’s effort to have his conviction thrown out was rebuffed by the North Dakota Supreme Court Wednesday.
Whitetail was convicted in July 2022 of the May 2020 killing of Eric Patterson at a Minot motel.
The jury found Whitetail had stabbed the victim with a steak knife several times in an argument over missing batteries in Whitetail’s T.V. remote.
Whitetail argued he acted in self-defense.
Whitetail appealed his conviction in District Court, arguing the evidence presented at his trial was insufficient to sustain the guilty verdict. He claimed the state offered no evidence that he was not suffering from a “dissociative,” or disconnected, mental state triggered by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
The District Court ruled against Whitetail and he appealed that judgment to the North Dakota Supreme Court.
In its ruling issued today, the high court noted Whitetail’s defense included testimony from an expert witness who, “testified that dissociation can be an element of PTSD, but he did not testify concerning Whitetail’s intent” at the time of the murder.
The state also presented an expert witness who testified Whitetail was criminally
responsible despite his PTSD diagnosis.
In the end, the high court ruled, “the State presented evidence supporting a finding that Whitetail acted knowingly or intentionally. Whitetail has not met his burden of showing the
evidence reveals no reasonable inference of guilt when viewed in the light most
favorable to the verdict. We affirm the judgment.”
You can read the full opinion here and below.