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Woman, 39, found guilty of manslaughter in shooting death at Minot apartment

Kommika Katrice Gregory

MINOT, N.D.—A jury in Minot found Kommika Katrice Gregory, 39, guilty of Class B felony manslaughter Wednesday, Oct. 10, after five hours of deliberation.

Gregory went to trial Monday on a charge that she shot and killed Ronald Stanley Thompson, 58, on Nov. 16, 2017 at a Minot apartment. The jury received the case shortly before 11 a.m. on Wednesday and returned the verdict about 4 p.m. During deliberations, they asked questions, including about the definition of "negligent."

Gregory had been charged with Class AA felony murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, but Judge Gary Lee permitted the jury to consider the lesser offenses of B felony manslaughter and C felony negligent homicide.

In North Dakota, a manslaughter charge means that the defendant "recklessly" caused the death of another person. A Class B felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Manslaughter committed with a weapon carries a minimum mandatory sentence of four years in prison.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 8.

Gregory had testified that she killed Thompson in self defense after Thompson intervened in a dispute between Gregory and her ex-boyfriend, put his hands on her, threatened to take away her gun and shoot her with it and blocked her path to the door. Gregory shot Thompson three times. She testified that she fired the second and third shots because he kept coming towards her.

Ward County Deputy State's Attorney Kelly Dillon said that the forensic evidence did not add up with Gregory's account of the final confrontation. Dillon argued that the evidence showed that Thompson was in a defensive crouch, holding his arm in front of his chest, when he was shot and that he was standing near the sofa in the apartment rather than in the hallway blocking Gregory's path to the door.