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Travis Yoney appeals again to supreme court in attempted murder case

Travis Eugene Yoney, 47, Minot, is again appealing his attempted murder case to the North Dakota Supreme Court and is arguing that Judge Gary Lee should not have dismissed his request for post-conviction relief last December.

Yoney tried to kill a confidential informant who had informed on Yoney to the Ward County Narcotics Task Force. According to court documents, Yoney went over to the other man’s Minot residence with a gun and shot into the wall next to the door. He then kicked in the door and pointed a gun at the confidential informant, who was in the kitchen. The other man tackled Yoney and managed to subdue him. A second shot went off and lodged in the kitchen ceiling. A woman and child were also in the home at the time of the incident on Aug. 23, 2018. He was found guilty at trial and was subsequently sentenced to 30 years in prison, with a requirement that he serve 20 years, and five years of supervised probation.

Yoney claims he received ineffective assistance from his defense counsel at trial. His defense attorney in the appeal bases the defense on terminology in the relevant state statute and the instructions given to the jury and whether Yoney was wrongly convicted of “attempted knowing murder.” She also argues that Judge Lee should not have dismissed Yoney’s request for post-conviction relief.

The Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office argues that the conviction should stand, that Yoney clearly intended to kill the victim but missed and that Yoney did not object during the trial to the instructions given to the jury or any of the statements made by his defense attorney during the trial that Yoney is now questioning in the appeal. It argues that Lee’s decision was correct.

Oral arguments are scheduled for April 5 before the supreme court.

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