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Attempted murder trial moved across state

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news Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

HETTINGER (AP) -- An Adams County judge moved a man's attempted murder trial to the other side of North Dakota, agreeing with the defendant's lawyer that the case can't be handled fairly in the same courthouse where he's accused of pulling a gun and trying to open fire.

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Judge Steven McCullough granted the motion Tuesday to move Vicente Chacano's case to Cass County.

Chacano was convicted in February of two counts of gross sexual imposition and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Prosecutors said when he learned the jury's verdict, Chacano reached behind his back, pulled a loaded handgun from his pants and tried to fire it. The gun jammed, and no one was hurt.

Chacano pointed the gun at the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Jon Byers, who slammed Chacano to the floor, according to a statement from the attorney general's office.

Chacano, who is appealing his conviction on the sex crime charges, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of attempted murder. A trial date hasn't been set.

The incident led to calls for heightened security in North Dakota's courthouses.

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