Omar Mohamed Kalmio, 27, made an initial appearance in front of Northwest District Court Judge Douglas Mattson at the Ward County Courthouse Tuesday on three additional counts of Murder, Class AA Felonies.
The original charge of murder against Kalmio was for the death of Sabrina Zephier, 19, the mother of his child. Counts 2, 3, and 4 are for the deaths of Jolene Zephier, 38; Dylan Zephier, 13; and Jeremy Longie, 22. The bodies of the deceased were found at two different residences in Minot on Jan. 28, 2011. Sabrina Zephier's child was discovered unharmed at Sabrina Zephier's residence.
During Tuesday's appearance, Mattson explained to Kalmio that the state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Kalmio committed the murders. He told Kalmio that he has the presumption of innocence and that a jury would have to render a unanimous verdict to convict. In addition, said Mattson, the Class AA Felony Murder charges have the penalty of life without parole and that the charges could be ordered by the court to be served concurrently or consecutively.
When asked if he had any questions regarding his legal rights, Kalmio replied, "No."
When Mattson asked Kalmio if he understood the proceedings, Kalmio replied, "Yes."
Kalmio was in handcuffs and leg shackles during Tuesday's proceedings. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Counts 2, 3 and 4 on June 19 at 1:30 p.m. If the counts are accepted at that hearing, Kalmio will be asked for a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Mattson told the defense and prosecution attorneys that, "I want this case to be tried before Thanksgiving."
According to Mattson, a pre-trial conference would likely be scheduled for late August and that jury selection could begin in October.
"It will be hard to look for any kind of continuance," added Mattson.
Mattson also told the attorneys that he had received a request for expanded media coverage if a trial were to occur. There were no objections and the judge said he would issue rules to govern such coverage.
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