Suspect accused of shooting man seven times argues self-defenseA Dilworth, Minn., man accused of opening fire in a Fargo movie theater parking lot on June 5 plans to argue self-defense when his attempted murder trial begins this month.
By: By Mike Nowatzki, Forum communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — A Dilworth, Minn., man accused of opening fire in a Fargo movie theater parking lot on June 5 plans to argue self-defense when his attempted murder trial begins this month.
Felipe Estrada also has been informed that he could face deportation if found guilty of the charges against him, said his attorney, Steven Mottinger.
During a hearing Wednesday in Cass County District Court, Mottinger said Estrada has been a permanent U.S. resident for many years but is not a U.S. citizen and could be deported if convicted.
Estrada, 45, faces one count each of attempted murder and aggravated assault for an alleged attack outside West Acres 14 Cinema. He’s accused of shooting Juan Carlos Garza – who survived despite seven gunshot wounds — and hitting Charles Roskom in the head with the butt of a handgun, fracturing his skull.
Two charges of reckless endangerment also allege that Estrada fired shots at his ex-girlfriend as she and Garza, her ex-husband, were running away from him, as well as into the theater while Sunday matinees were showing.
Estrada’s trial is set to begin March 13 and last four days.
Judge Wade Webb said he has received notice that Estrada plans to use a self-defense argument.
Mottinger had hinted last September that the defense might be leaning that way. During a hearing contesting whether there was probable cause for the charges, he asked a Fargo detective if there was any reason to believe Estrada was lured to the parking lot.
Afterward, Mottinger said he believed there were inconsistent statements in the case and that Estrada “was confronted by another individual,” which led to the altercation.
Estrada faces up to 20 years in prison, and a minimum of four years, if convicted of the attempted murder charge.
Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Gary Euren informed the judge that the prosecution may ask to show an animation of the shooting during the trial. Mottinger said there’s “no way” the defense will agree to it.
Webb would likely have to rule if it is inadmissible.
Mike Nowatzki is a reporter
for the Fargo Forum,
which is owned by Forum Communications Co.