January 21, 2010

Attempted murder case plea change entered

Attempted murder case plea change entered

By ALLAN TINKER
The attempted murder charge against Bradley Roth in the July 7,2009 shooting of his nephew Josh Zeeb, along with a misdemeanor charge for also shooting Zeeb’s motorcycle, were the subjects of the plea change agreement before Judge Bruce Romanick on January 19, at the Sheridan County Courthouse courtroom.
Walter Lipp, State’s Attorney, and Lori Weisz, lead attorney for Roth along with Schwarz of Bismarck, agreed to the terms that Lipp read to the court. Roth had pled not guilty previously.
Roth pled guilty, trying to add an Alford plea. Romanick declined the Alford addition, citing that whether or not Roth could recall his actions was not relevant to the guilty plea. Two counts of discharging a firearm within city limits and one count of reckless endangerment will be dismissed if the judge approves the plea agreement.
Medical and property restitution will also be part of the agreement terms, along with Roth undergoing alcoholism evaluation and treatment. The terms of the prison incarceration would be 12 years, five years suspended. According to Romanick, Roth must serve 85% of the years in prison before he would be eligible for parole. This is because of the violent nature of his crime. Probation would also be supervised and no alcohol use during probation.
Lipp also asked for no fine and a cap on a greater sentence than what is in the agreement. He left the mandatory fees issue up to the court to decide.
Romanick explained the plea terms to Roth, ascertaining that he understood the rights he was waiving, including trial by a jury, and that he had not been threatened, coerced or influenced in his decision to plead guilty.
The injuries that Zeeb suffered from the shooting were severe; one shot entering the abdomen over the navel area. Lipp stated that doctors had told Zeeb that he was “ten minutes away from dying” when he was brought into the emergency room.
 


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