Jurors Hear Opening Statements in Ashley Hunter Double Murder Trial

The defense said the state's timeline won't add up

FARGO, ND– A Fargo double–murder trial has begun with opening statements.

Ashley Hunter’s attorney said there are missing pieces to the puzzle.

The state took the jury through the events that lead to Ashley Hunter being charged with two counts of murder and one count of arson.

The defense said that the timeline is incomplete and police stopped looking for a suspect too soon.

“When you live life in a meth induced phase, reason is hard to come by,” said Leah Viste, Cass County Prosecutor.

The prosecution timeline begins at 319 12th Avenue North, where Clarence Flowers was found dead.

A female friend of both men was also there.

“Megan woke up to Flowers yelling for help, she sees the defendant stabbing Flowers,” said Viste.

Hunter’s defense said there were other people at the crime scene.

“This witness also says, ‘I saw a guy with dreads there’,” explained Samuel Gereszek, representing Ashley Hunter.

Hunter’s attorney told the jury that the state’s timeline doesn’t add up.

But Viste said the defendant is the one who gave information to the police.

“You will hear what happened to Clarence Flowers in the defendant’s own words,” she read out loud in the courtroom. “So I hit him, first in the upper part of his neck, and the knife went all the way in down into his…I don’t know…it started crunching like it went into his spine or something’.”

Hunter turned himself in after the body of 24-year-old Sam Traut was found, the second man he’s accused of killing.

“If there was a piece of evidence that pointed in any other direction, it was ignored,” said Gereszek.

He said he’ll prove Hunter’s confession was taken out of context.

He also said putting Hunter behind bars would be making him the third victim in this case.

“To just get somebody in jail,” said Gereszek.

“After the evidence is presented, you will know that you will find the defendant guilty,” explained Viste.

The trial is set to run for two weeks.

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