Muzzy pleads ‘not guilty’ to attempted murder

Brian Keith Muzzy, 31, pleaded “not guilty” to both an attempted murder charge and a possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, by an inmate of a correctional facility at an arraignment at the Ward County Courthouse Thursday.

He is charged with shooting Shaun Scott, 32, in the abdomen during an incident that occurred Jan. 20 at the Holiday Park Mobile Home Park in Minot. He was allegedly caught with marijuana in his cell at the Ward County Jail just days after he had turned himself in to authorities on the attempted murder charge.

A female who was also in the residence at the time of the shooting had called in to Minot police to say that her brother, Scott, had been shot, according to a signed affidavit submitted by Sgt. Larry Hubbard of the Minot police.

Upon officer arrival, the woman had stated that, after a night of having a few beers and watching the football game, she and Scott had gotten into a verbal argument as she prepared dinner. The argument turned physical and the affidavit says that, according to her, “Scott then punched her in the back” and attempted “to strangle her.” She then bit Scott and punched him and he punched her back.

At this point, the affidavit continues, the woman’s 12-year-old son got involved and Scott ended up punching the child in the mouth. The fighting began and continued while Muzzy was outside of the residence.

“A short time later,” after his knocking and pounding on the door was denied, reportedly Muzzy burst through the door and asked the woman what had happened. She told him her story and he left the residence once again.

“I just shot your brother,” is what Muzzy said to the woman upon his return to the residence after she had said she heard “a loud noise,” according to the affidavit.

Muzzy waived his rights to have the charges read against him and to a preliminary hearing. He appeared calm and promptly answered all the questions asked of him by Judge Todd Cresap with a simple “yes” or “no.” He also expressed that his attorney, Melissa Leathers, has adequately represented him so far.

Cresap informed Muzzy that the attempted murder charge, a Class A felony, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. If convicted, the crime will carry at least four years in prison, with 85 percent having to be served before eligibility for release, and a $1,025 fine. The possession of marijuana charge, a Class B felony, carries a minimum of $775 in fines and a required drug and alcohol dependency evaluation, with maximum sentencing set at $10,000 in fines and 10 years in jail.

Muzzy is next scheduled to appear in court on May 8 for a pretrial conference.