Conference continued for attempted murder suspect

A scheduled pretrial conference for Timothy Ngunjiri, 41, Wednesday morning was continued due to an upcoming change of representation.

Ngunjiri had felt inadequately represented by Robert Martin of the Minot office of the state public defenders office. The next court-appointed lawyer for the man accused of attempted murder will be the last one and if he doesn’t get along with this one he will have to seek his own representation or represent himself.

Martin was the first court-appointed and second lawyer overall for Ngunjiri.

The Class A felony charge of attempted murder, accompanied by a Class C felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude police, comes from incidents that allegedly occurred on March 24.

That night, according to a police affidavit submitted to the court, a man called police from a northwest Minot address but, when asked what was going on, he replied “nothing” and then hung up the phone. When police called back he said that there was an emergency but offered no details before hanging up.

When police responded to the address, Officer Carmen Asham was greeted at the door by a woman who was visibly, severly injured on her face and head and was covered in blood. An ambulance was immediately called. The woman, when directly asked, said that the person responsible for her injuries was not in the home, but later said, according to the affidavit, that it was her boyfriend who had done it.

Blood droplets led to the stairwell of the split-level home and more blood had splattered on the walls. The victim’s 3-year-old son was at home, uninjured.

Mail located in the kitchen of the home was addressed to Ngunjiri, and the victim identifed him as her boyfriend.

When taken to the hospital, doctors put the victim in intensive care because they did not believe she was stable enough for surgery. Her injuries included “an open fracture of her right cheek bone,” “and a skull fracture with bleeding and/or bruising on the brain.” The doctor agreed that the injuries could be the result of a weight lifting bar, which was an item found with one end bloodied in the bedroom of the bed next to “body tissue.”

A blue Honda Accord belonging to Ngunjiri, who was a member of the Air Force at the time of his arrest, was spotted later that day at a Minot gas station. Police followed the vehicle east on Burdick Expressway and noticed that the vehicle was not maintaining its lane.

Officers turned on their emergency lights and siren and pursued the vehicle at speeds of approximately 60 miles per hour. The vehicle crossed lanes and disregarded stop signs until it came to a stop on a frontage road, where Ngunjiri exited the vehicle and was arrested.

According to letters submitted by him to the court, Ngunjiri has a master of science degree in public health and epidemiology and was looking forward to commencing a PhD program in June to pursue a career with the Centers for Disease Control after retiring from the Air Force.

Further hearings on the case have not yet been scheduled.