Prosecutor working on deal with homicide suspect
A deal between the Stark County State's Attorney's Office and Timothy Menges, the man accused of killing Dickinson resident and business owner Tracy Freer with his vehicle in November, is close to being set.
At a pretrial hearing at the Stark County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon, State's Attorney Tom Henning asked for an extension of one week for a change of plea hearing.
Menges, a 48-year-old from Missouri, pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide in April.
If the deal is not reached, a trial date will be set in the next court cycle, Henning said.
Freer passed away en route to Bismarck the morning of Nov. 21 due to injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle while he was in the parking lot of his business, Queen City Motel, around 1 a.m.
Dickinson police Investigator Travis Leintz had previously told the court, presided over by Judge Dann Greenwood, that Menges had confessed to believing he hit Freer that night.
"He was the only one there, he was the only one that knew what happened," Leintz previously told the court.
In his April 22 testimony, Leintz said that Menges had allegedly driven through the Queen City Motel parking lot, owned by Freer, after drinking four to five beers and four to five whiskey-colas at Champs Sports Bar across the street.
It was alleged that Menges also nearly ran over Freer's small dog as he made his way around the U-shaped parking lot, ending his travels at the west end near the office, Leintz said in April. Freer was upset by this and began chastising Menges. The men were said to be acquaintances.
Freer's dog jumped from his arms and Menges reportedly used the opportunity to leave, Leintz said. Menges allegedly felt a bump as he accelerated to leave the parking lot and turn west on to Villard Street. At the time, he believed it was a pothole or, at worst, Freer's dog.
Leintz testified that after a few days, Menges realized that the bump was Freer.
"He said he was kind of worried about the whole driving under suspension and being intoxicated -- he just wasn't sure exactly how to come forward with this information," Leintz said in court in April.
A friend of Menges' came forward in March, which led to his arrest on March 4, with his first court appearance two days later.
Menges is charged with a Class C felony. The maximum penalty is five years' imprisonment, a $5,000 fine or both.
The details of the plea agreement were unavailable Tuesday.