Judge delays setting trial date in beating deathA judge on Monday delayed setting a trial date for a Bismarck man accused of beating his wife to death in front of her 3-year-old son.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A judge on Monday delayed setting a trial date for a Bismarck man accused of beating his wife to death in front of her 3-year-old son.
Derek Bollinger has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and child abuse and is being held in the Burleigh County jail on $500,000 bail. He is accused of killing his wife, Jessica Bollinger, 30, at the couple's south Bismarck home in March.
South Central District Judge Donald Jorgensen said a trial will be scheduled later.
Cynthia Feland, an assistant Burleigh County state's attorney who is prosecuting Bollinger, said during Monday's court hearing that she expected his trial would take five days. She said in an interview she hoped it would be held by November or December.
Feland asked Jorgensen to agree to send questionnaires to prospective jurors as the trial date draws nearer. Bollinger's lawyer, Jodi Colling, said she did not object to the use of questionnaires.
Feland said in an interview the survey would help attorneys disqualify potential jurors who could be biased. For example, someone who is a victim of domestic violence, or who has been accused of beating one's spouse, would not be allowed, Feland said.
“We do that in a lot of cases basically to weed out people who have strong feelings or emotions about the case,” Feland said. “It ... tends to make the jury selection process go much quicker.”
Jessica Bollinger's sister, Nicole Tschaekofske, 21, attended Monday's hearing carrying a framed portrait of the woman and her young son. She declined comment afterward.