Minot man pleads guilty to murder of girlfriend

Eric Clayton Venn, 41, Minot, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to Class AA felony murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend and business partner, 29-year-old Arnalyn Repalam, in Minot on July 10, 2021.

The prosecution and the defense are jointly recommending a sentence of 45 years in prison, with a requirement that Venn serve 35 years, followed by five years of supervised probation.

North Central District Court Judge Richard Hagar ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set a sentencing date for June 30. Venn will not be sentenced and Hagar will not decide whether to accept the sentencing recommendation until after the report of the evaluators has been completed.

Two other charges against Venn will be dismissed under the terms of the plea deal.

He has been held in custody at the Ward County Jail since the murder and had been scheduled to go to trial on July 22.

A prosecutor had said after the shooting in July 2021 that Repalam had previously been a victim of domestic violence by Venn. The Manila Bulletin in the Philippines had reported after the murder that Repalam’s family said the couple had fought and Repalam told them she wanted to break up with Venn.

Venn and Repalam jointly operated the Filipino Online Retail and Wholesale Store in Minot, a business that sold goods from the Philippines online. In court on Wednesday, a prosecutor said Venn and Repalam had argued, then Venn had gone out and bought ammunition for his gun. Repalam arrived at the warehouse for their business and Venn followed her out and shot her multiple times in the head, chest, and abdomen. She died from her injuries.


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