Bismarck murder trial begins for second time

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 1:49 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Prosecutors are taking another go at connecting Kevin Hartson and Devante Evans to the 2021 shooting death of Reonardo Alexis. The case went to trial last March and resulted in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked.

In the first trial, prosecutors argued Hartson and Evans shot and killed Alexis at a Bismarck apartment when they went to collect drug money. They said boots, a cell phone, and a black hat placed the defendants at the scene.

“The playboy bunny hat found outside the Bismarck apartment, matched Kevin Hartson,” said state’s attorney Joshua Amundson during the first trial in March 2022.

On the other hand, defense attorneys told the jury that the state ignored evidence that didn’t fit their story, specifically DNA that was found on shell casings in the apartment.

“Your duty is to question everything,” said Kevin Hartson’s defense attorney Lloyd Suhr during the first trial in March 2022.

That DNA belonged to another man injured at the scene at the time of the crimes. But they say that man could have killed Alexis.

The jury deliberated for more than eight hours before hanging.

Tuesday, a new trial kicked off with attorneys choosing a fresh jury. The trial is scheduled to last through March 3.

Evans is charged with murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm, and wearing a mask during a crime. Hartson is charged with murder.

If convicted, the men could face up to life in prison.

Previous Coverage: Jury hangs in Bismarck murder case after more than eight hours of deliberation

Previous Coverage: Prosecutors say cell phone, DNA evidence will point to culprits of 2021 Bismarck murder