Jury selection begins in trial of man accused of killing Grand Forks officer Cody Holte
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (KVRR) – Jury selection is underway in the trial of the man accused of killing Grand Forks Police officer Cody Holte last year.
Forty-two-year-old Salamah Pendleton is accused of shooting and killing Holte at an apartment in Grand Forks last May while authorities were serving an eviction notice.
Pendleton is also accused of shooting and killing his 61-year-old mother, Lola Moore, in the same incident.
After reviewing a state hospital evaluation, Northeast Central District Judge Don Hager determined that Pendleton is capable of proceeding with the trial.
Pendleton faces two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, as well as criminal mischief, terrorizing, reckless endangerment, and possession with intent to deliver or manufacture marijuana.
Around 40 potential jurors were questioned by both the defense and prosecution on Tuesday. Some were let go because they know the Holte family, have already made up their minds on the case based on media coverage, or would find it difficult to be impartial based on other reasons.
One person, who is a neighbor of the apartment building at which Holte was killed and who was home at the time of the incident, was dismissed because she did not think she could be impartial.
“The only way this works is if Mr. Pendleton can get a fair trial,” public defender Steven Mottinger emphasized.
In part, potential jurors were questioned on their knowledge of the case, their occupations, family background and opinions on firearms and marijuana.
A different pool of jury candidates will be brought in for questioning on Wednesday.
The trial is expected to last for two weeks.
Pendleton’s charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $20,000.