Jury Selected in Fargo Murder Trial; Friends and Family of Victims Prepare

One of the victim's roomates hopes the trial can bring closure to the family

FARGO, ND –After multiple delays, Ashley Hunter’s trial is set to begin.

He is accused of killing two men in Fargo in 2015.

For friends and family, it hasn’t been easy.

“People say it was like it was yesterday,” said Dan Aubol, a close friend of Samuel Traut. “Your brain just takes snapshots of everything.”

After nearly two years and numerous delays, the trial for Hunter is set to begin.

Hunter is accused of killing Clarence Flowers and Samuel Traut June 22nd, 2015.

“Fourth time’s the charm,” said Aubol. “Hopefully we get it right this time and we just end everything.”

Dan Aubol was Traut’s long–time roommate.

“We’d go on adventures rather than just sit at home and hope something would happen,” Aubol said.

It was being at home that put the 24–year–old bible study leader at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Police reported that Hunter beat Traut to death with a hammer, just 12 hours after stabbing Flowers to death in his home less than one mile away.

Police said Hunter then tried to cover up his crime.

“Our neighbor saw a fire and she called 911,” Aubol explained. “She saved me from coming home to a tragedy.”

The third roommate was home for the summer.

Aubol happened to be out with friends.

Police say that Hunter, who has a criminal history of violence after pleading guilty to the stabbing of another man during a sex act, originally admitted to both deaths, but has since backpedaled and said “I am not the guy.”

“First off, I don’t understand why I’m getting charged with all of this stuff all in one and you say what proof,” said Hunter, back in 2015. “What proof does it say that I’m charged with all of this?”

The attorney representing Hunter in the trial will be his fourth one.

Lack of representation for a number of reasons has caused many of the delays.

“I hope it’s good enough to put him away, and if it’s not him and we find out who really did it, then we also get to win,” Aubol said.

Aubol said throughout this process he’s talked with officials time and time again.

He said he thinks there are dozens of people lined up to give personal testimony at the trial.

“There’s going to be a lot of good people saying how good of a person Sam is, because he is,” he said.

He describes Traut as “the best guy he’s ever met.”

He hopes the trial can finally bring closure to the Traut family, as well as those who knew him through the NDSU Newman Center.

“You can’t let someone like Sam leave planet Earth without people stepping up to fill that spot,” Aubol said.

Dan said the entire Newman community has Traut’s back, especially because they know he has theirs.

Since jury selection is finished, Hunter’s trial will begin Tuesday at 9 a.m.

It is expected to last two weeks.

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