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Branden Lyon testified in his own defense for nearly two hours on Wednesday in the Burleigh County Courthouse in Bismarck. Lyon was on trial for attempted murder.

Following 90 minutes of deliberation, a jury convicted the Bismarck man charged with attempted murder and other crimes connected to a 15-hour standoff in October 2015.

Branden Lyon, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison for Class A felony attempted murder, which brings a mandatory minimum of four years, District Judge Bruce Haskell said.

His other charges, including two counts of felony terrorizing and prohibited possession of a firearm, carry sentences of up to five years each.

Lyon's trial concluded after two days in court, during which Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney Julie Lawyer called 14 witnesses while defense attorney Tom Glass had two. 

Lyon took the stand Wednesday afternoon and made his own closing argument.

"I have no intention nor had any intention to really hurt anybody," he told the 12-member jury. "I know there ain't nothing much about me that is likable and really nothing respectable at all, but I ask you to know that your duty here today is not to base your judgment on whether you think I'm an OK person or not, because I'll tell you right now I have never lived my life right." 

In her closing argument, Lawyer stressed the intent of shooting.

During deliberation, jurors twice sent questions to Haskell and the attorneys regarding the definition of attempted murder, as well as similar queries.

After receiving the verdict, Haskell ordered a pre-sentence investigation, which typically includes evaluations for chemical dependency and mental health, for Lyon. 

Lyon's two-year old case saw four judges successively leave in December 2015 as well as four defenders who left or withdrew before Glass got the case.

Lyon wore handcuffs belted to his waist as he heard the verdict read aloud by Haskell. 

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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