Jury finds gunman not responsible in deadly taking pictures outdoors north Fargo bar – InForum

FARGO — A jury discovered Raymond Christopher Gunn not responsible of homicide after about 9 hours of deliberation over two days.

Jurors began deliberating shortly earlier than midday Friday, March 25, and resumed Monday. The decision was introduced at about 1 p.m. Monday in Cass County District Court docket.

Gunn’s lawyer, Nicole Bredahl, argued that her consumer acted in self-defense and through trial advised a “stand your floor” regulation handed final 12 months by the North Dakota Legislature ought to apply in Gunn’s case, regardless of it going into impact simply days after the taking pictures.

The regulation now eliminates an obligation to retreat in harmful conditions, but it surely does not apply to the one that initiates or provokes mentioned hazard.

Through the four-day trial, prosecutor Renata Olafson Selzer argued that Gunn was the preliminary aggressor and provoked hazard.

Gunn, 40, confronted a sentence of as much as life in jail if convicted of killing 41-year-old Eric Woodrow Hayes round 11 p.m. July 24 within the Loaf ‘N Jug parking zone at 1201 N. College Drive in Fargo, throughout the road from North Dakota State College.

“We’re so joyful for Raymond that he’s lastly capable of go residence,” mentioned Tracy Hines, one among his protection attorneys.

Bredahl mentioned Gunn’s response to the jury’s discovering was “loads of shock, happiness,” and that they’ve all had an extended eight months ready for the not responsible verdict.

Bredahl mentioned Gunn has been constant together with his story all the time. “He solely used deadly power when his life relied on it,” she mentioned.

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Raymond Gunn seems in Cass County District Court docket together with his lawyer Tracy Hines throughout his trial Thursday, March 24, 2022.

Chris Flynn / The Discussion board

Now, Gunn, who has no earlier prison report and spent the final eight months behind bars, should start life anew. He misplaced his job as a provide driver for a neighborhood hospital, however for now he plans to “have an excellent meal” and can spend time together with his household, a few of whom attended the trial, Bredahl mentioned.

When requested if the decision stunned her, Hines mentioned: “We see it in a different way dwelling it day in and day trip and it may have gone both manner.”

Earlier than the trial, Bredahl advised Hayes pulled a knife on Gunn on July 24 and known as him a racial slur. Gunn is Black, and Hayes was Caucasian.

The prosecution objected to the protection presenting proof at trial suggesting Hayes used a slur, calling it irrelevant to the case.

The jury that determined the case gave the impression to be all white.

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Surveillance footage performed on the trial of Raymond Gunn.

Chris Flynn / The Discussion board

The evening of the taking pictures, Gunn and his buddy, Jerod Robinson, went to the Bison Turf, a bar and grill simply north of the Loaf ‘N Jug gasoline station, to play pool. Gunn introduced his legally owned handgun, two full journal clips and handcuffs with him, police mentioned. Gunn and Robinson bumped into Hayes within the alley between the bar and gasoline station. Surveillance video recorded their interplay.

After what was initially seen on the video to be a pleasant interplay,

violence quickly erupted

between Gunn and Hayes, who Selzer mentioned had meth in his system.

Gunn and Hayes confirmed one another their weapons a number of instances, together with as soon as when Hayes pulled out his knife and set it on the bottom. Gunn and Robinson returned the weapon to Hayes, who sheathed it in his belt below his shirt.

Within the surveillance video, Hayes and Gunn went off digital camera a number of instances, and the group went into the digital camera’s blind spot for about 14 seconds.

Then, Hayes appeared in parking zone video backing up together with his palms within the air as Gunn, pointing his gun at Hayes, approached him. The protection claimed Hayes tried to seize Gunn’s firearm from his hip.

The boys went off digital camera once more in entrance of the bar earlier than Gunn walked away into the alley. Robinson was seen speaking with Hayes by a car in entrance of the gasoline station.

Robinson instructed police Hayes drew his knife, however video wasn’t clear sufficient to again that declare. Detectives mentioned there is no such thing as a proof to counsel Hayes redrew his knife.

Gunn returned to confront Hayes with Robinson. Gunn and Robinson appeared to again Hayes in opposition to a car.

Robinson instructed authorities he was attempting to persuade Hayes to place his knife away, including that he was scared. Robinson left, and video seems to point out Gunn pistol-whipping Hayes.

That’s when Hayes pursued Gunn. Together with his gun pointed at Hayes, Gunn backed up across the car, fell backward and shot Hayes.

Gunn stayed on the scene and gave support to Hayes, who died at a hospital. Gunn surrendered to police on the scene.

Through the trial, prosecutors mentioned Gunn and Hayes may have walked away a number of instances.

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Eric Woodrow Hayes, 41, of Fargo, left, was killed in a June 24, 2021. He’s pictured right here together with his fiancee, Kristie Janssen.

Submitted picture