Ashley Hunter Trial: Defense Says Neighbor’s Testimony Doesn’t Add Up
Sorensen said she saw an African-American man walk up to the door and heard a loud struggle inside the home before the alarms went off
FARGO, ND — A neighbor to the second alleged murder victim of Ashley Hunter described her experience during the night it all happened.
But defense attorneys say her testimony does not add up.
Debra Sorensen said she heard smoke alarms go off next door just after midnight.
When the alarms didn’t stop, she called 911.
“911, what’s your emergency?” asked the dispatcher on the call.
“There’s smoke alarms, they’re going off,” reported Sorensen. “It’s just north of me, next door.”
When police got there, they found the body of Samuel Traut.
On the stand, Sorensen said she saw an African-American man walk up to the door and heard a loud struggle inside the home before the alarms went off.
However, when questioned by the defense, Sorensen admitted she did not tell police about witnessing the man at the door or hearing the struggle until 10 months later.
She says she did not remember until much later.
“Ten months later, after you’ve seen the news and you’ve seen that Mr. Hunter has been charged, that’s when you say I saw a black male walking across the yard that night,” said Hunter’s defense attorney, Samuel Gereszek.
“I don’t believe you’re portraying it accurately,” said Sorensen. “What I said is I remember things at different times.”
The defense repetitively questioned Sorensen about how she knew the man who went to Traut’s door was African-American when there was a small amount of light.
She said she was able to see his face despite his hooded sweatshirt.
On KVRR Local News at 9, authorities go over some of the evidence from the apartment where Hunter’s first alleged victim, Clarence Flowers, was found.