Woman pleads ‘not guilty’ to attempted murder

Heather Leavitt, 36, Minot Air Force Base, accused of stabbing her husband eight times at his home during the early morning of Feb. 1, pleaded “not guilty” to the Class A felony charge of attempted murder at the Ward County Courthouse in Minot Thursday.

The preliminary hearing lasted about an hour, which is longer than usual, as the prosecutor and defense questioned David Goodman, a detective with the Minot Police Department. At times the questioning became heated, causing Judge Douglas Mattson to tell people to “move along” in their questioning and once saying “Gentlemen, be gentlemen” when accusations flared between defense attorney Paul Probst and Goodman.

In the end, though, Mattson determined that prosecutor Kelly Dillon had met the low burden of proof needed in a preliminary hearing for the case to move forward.

While various details were debated during cross examination at the hearing, the basics of the case can still be found in the police affidavit submitted to back up the criminal complaint.

According to that affidavit, Sgt. Shane Haug of the Minot Police Department, placed a call to investigators at around 4:45 a.m. informing them that a stabbing had occurred at a home in the 3000 block of Willow Lane Southeast.

Timothy Leavitt had apparantly ran across the street to a neighbor’s house with stab wounds and was “covered with blood.”

Heather and Timothy Leavitt were going through a divorce at the time and split their time with their two young children on a week-on, week-off basis. She was living at Minot AFB and he was living at the home on Willow Lane.

Investigators were unable to speak with Timothy immediately at the hospital so they went back to the scene of the crime and discovered bloody footprints. Only the left footprint was bloody, leading investigators to first believe that someone was bleeding from the foot. Later, according to Goodman at the hearing, it was determined that it was a socked foot and not a bare foot and had collected blood from the scene.

Later, investigators took Heather’s footprint and Goodman claimed it was a match to the bloody footprints at the home. When investigators were able to meet up with Timothy he seemed to be unable to identify his attacker but later “he described the attacker as having the same build as his wife and while talking about it, he remembered that the attacker had a ponytail which would be consistent with his wife and her hairstyle.”

Investigators then checked with Minot AFB to see when Heather had arrived there. They were told that she arrived at 5:04 a.m., about 35 minutes after the alleged attack would have taken place, and again at 9:03 a.m. The base was unable to immediately provide times of departure.