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Bond set at $1 million cash for murder defendant Duell Clifton

Bond was set at $1 million cash on Wednesday for Duell McCall Clifton, 25, Minot, who is charged in connection with the murder earlier this month in Minot of Alytreus C. Clifton, 22.

Authorities have not identified the relationship between the Cliftons, but Alytreus Clifton appears to have been the wife of Duell Clifton according to a May 2018 marriage record that appeared in The Minot Daily News.

Duell Clifton is charged in district court in Minot with Class AA felony murder and Class C felony tampering with physical evidence.

According to Minot police, they received a request to do a welfare check at a southeast Minot residence late on the afternoon of June 8. The investigation led to a residence in Faith, S.D., where Alytreus Clifton was found dead. Duell Clifton was arrested in South Dakota and was returned to North Dakota to face the charges against him on Wednesday.

Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson told Judge Gary Lee on Wednesday that the state is not alleging use of a weapon in commission of the offense and no minimum mandatory sentence would apply if Clifton is convicted. Clifton would have to serve 85 percent of any sentence if he is convicted or pleads guilty to the murder charge. The maximum sentence for Class AA felony murder in North Dakota is up to life in prison without parole.

Defense attorney Ashley Gulke said in court Wednesday that Clifton does not object to remaining in custody and would not contest the high $1 million bond for now. She told Judge Gary Lee that Clifton wants to deal with certain matters. Judge Lee ordered the courtroom closed on Wednesday after he set bond and an Aug. 27 preliminary hearing date for Clifton to discuss “confidential matters.”

Court documents in the case have been sealed, but a listing on the North Dakota Courts site shows that a motion was filed Wednesday to order Clifton committed for a psychological evaluation and determination of criminal responsibility.

In some past murder cases in the jurisdiction, which have no connection with this one, a defendant has been deemed not guilty due to lack of criminal responsibility, which is North Dakota’s version of the temporary insanity defense. If a defendant is found not guilty for that reason, he or she is committed to the state hospital or allowed to live in the community under the supervision of the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services for the maximum length of the sentence that could have been imposed had the defendant been found guilty.

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