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Trial date set for Habiger murder case, mental fitness issue remains unresolved

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FARGO – A trial date is set for Daniel Habiger, the 29-year-old Fargo man accused of killing another man during a fight in March, but a determination on whether he is mentally fit to continue with trial has yet to be made.

At a hearing in Cass County District Court on Thursday, Aug. 9, Judge Frank Racek set a trial date for Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.

At the hearing, Habiger’s attorney, Scott Brand, said he received a mental evaluation report on Aug. 9.

A determination still needs to be made based on the evaluation report as to whether Habiger was criminally responsible for his actions at the time of the alleged crime and whether he can assist in his own defense, Brand said.

Brand said he would file a motion if it is determined Habiger is not responsible for his actions or cannot assist in his own defense.

Racek set a tentative motion hearing date for 3 P.M., Oct. 9.

Two evaluations were done by the state before Brand’s request for an independent mental evaluation was approved June 7.

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Habiger is accused of killing 32-year-old Jarryd Heis March 2 during a fight at Habiger’s apartment, court documents show. On the same day, Habiger called 911 reporting that he had killed someone, court records stated.

Habiger told investigators that he, Heis and another man had been drinking and Heis threatened him and his family, court documents said.

Habiger told police he choked Heis and kicked him in the head, court records documents. He remains in custody at the Cass County Jail.

At a hearing in Cass County District Court on Thursday, Aug. 9, Judge Frank Racek set a trial date for Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.

At the hearing, Habiger’s attorney, Scott Brand, said he received a mental evaluation report on Aug. 9.

A determination still needs to be made based on the evaluation report as to whether Habiger was criminally responsible for his actions at the time of the alleged crime and whether he can assist in his own defense, Brand said.

Brand said he would file a motion if it is determined Habiger is not responsible for his actions or cannot assist in his own defense.

Racek set a tentative motion hearing date for 3 P.M., Oct. 9.

Two evaluations were done by the state before Brand’s request for an independent mental evaluation was approved June 7.

Habiger is accused of killing 32-year-old Jarryd Heis March 2 during a fight at Habiger’s apartment, court documents show. On the same day, Habiger called 911 reporting that he had killed someone, court records stated.

Habiger told investigators that he, Heis and another man had been drinking and Heis threatened him and his family, court documents said.

Habiger told police he choked Heis and kicked him in the head, court records documents. He remains in custody at the Cass County Jail.

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