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New re-trial date set for Bradley Morales in murder case

A new re-trial date has been scheduled for Aug. 9 for Bradley Joe Morales, 30, who is charged in district court in Minot with the Class AA felony 2017 murder of his ex-girlfriend.

The trial had originally been set to take place on Jan. 25, but Judge Doug Mattson agreed to call it off and schedule the new trial date.

Mattson did, however, refuse to allow Morales’s latest lawyer to withdraw from the case.

Morales asked last month for a new lawyer. Defense attorney David Ogren had asked to withdraw and told the judge there has been “an irreparable rift and complete breakdown in the attorney client relationship.”

Mattson wrote in his order denying the request that Ogren appears to be diligent in representing Morales and noted that Morales has had similar problems with all of his previous six attorneys and would probably have the same problem with another attorney if one is appointed. Morales wants to have control of the case and what witnesses are called and some of his previous attorneys have objected to the approach he wants them to take.

Morales’s second attorney in his first murder trial told Mattson when he asked to withdraw in October 2017 that “there are some clients and some attorneys that mix as well as oil and water” and Morales would do better with another attorney.

Morales was convicted at his first murder trial and Mattson sentenced him to 40 years in prison. However, the state supreme court ordered that Morales must be given a new trial because Mattson violated Morales’s constitutional right to a public trial by closing the courtroom on different occasions without first considering alternatives.

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