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Guilty plea change ends kidnapping trial

Guilty plea change ends kidnapping trial

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A Bismarck man accused of firing shots in and near a Bismarck apartment pleaded guilty to felony charges Wednesday afternoon after three witnesses had testified at his trial.

Christopher Williams, 39, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, terrorizing and reckless endangerment. The trial started Wednesday morning and was scheduled for two days, according to court records. There was a short break in the proceedings after opening arguments and testimony from the witnesses, said Burleigh County State's Attorney Julie Lawyer. Williams changed his plea after the break, Lawyer said.

Defense attorney James Wiese declined comment on the case. Assistant Burleigh County State’s Attorney Karlei Neufeld, prosecutor in the case, could not be reached for comment.

South Central District Judge David Reich accepted Williams’ guilty plea and ordered a presentence investigation.

Police in January said Williams forced his way into a Summit Avenue apartment and held a gun on a man inside, according to an affidavit. He allegedly fired one shot while in the apartment, another into the air as the men left, and another as they approached Williams’ vehicle. The man told police he heard another shot as he fled the area.

Police say the round fired inside the unit struck the walls in two apartments of an adjacent building. Nobody was injured.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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