Missouri man faces homicide charge in Dickinson
The Missouri man accused of killing Tracy Freer of Dickinson in a November hit-and-run incident said in court Wednesday that he would like to apologize to the family for not coming forward sooner.
"I'm just sorry this all happened," said Timothy J. Menges, 47, as he made his first appearance in front of a judge at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson via ITV.
Menges, who faces a felony negligent homicide charge, will be released on a $5,000 cash bond if he can post it. He told the court that he had no money and would like to apply for court-appointed
Members of the family present in court Wednesday were not happy with the ruling.
"That's wrong; $5,000 to kill someone," said Nellie Mahto, fiancée of Freer's brother, John Stevens, who was also present Wednesday.
Assistant Stark County State's Attorney Rhonda Ehlis felt that $5,000 was an attainable amount, but enough to ensure Menges' appearance in court, starting with his preliminary hearing scheduled for April 22.
His criminal record since residing in Stark County for about two and a half years -- including charges of carrying a concealed weapon and several traffic violations such as DUI and driving under suspension -- was cause for worry, Ehlis said.
Negligent homicide is a Class C felony. The maximum penalty is five years' imprisonment, a $5,000 fine or both, according to North Dakota Century Code.
He may also be responsible for court fees up to $500, Judge Zane Anderson said.
The charges are the result of a Nov. 21 incident in which 47-year-old Freer was struck in the parking lot of the Queen City Motel, which he owned and operated, by what witnesses described as a gray pickup, possibly a Dodge. He was letting his dog out at the time.
Authorities were called at 12:55 that morning. Freer was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center in Dickinson and then to Bismarck and died en route.
Menges was arrested and booked Monday at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Facility. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had not posted bond, according to the control tech at the facility.