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Murder in North Dakota reaches record high

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - In 2020, 32 murders took place in North Dakota alone.

While North Dakota’s crime rate has only risen slightly from 2019 and drug-related and DUI arrests have declined, the rising murder rate is of “great concern” to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

This is the highest murder rate recorded in the state’s history.

“When you have as few offenses like this as we do in North Dakota, you have to be careful to make sure you are looking at long-term trends. But the trends for the homicides have been at an increase year over year for the past five or six years,” said Stenehjem.

Firearms were used in fifteen of these murders.

Many murders resulted from domestic violence or drug dealing according to Stenehjem.

“It’s just hard to say exactly what it is, but I don’t think it is because everyone was all cooped up because of the pandemic and so they couldn’t do anything but turn on each other, that doesn’t seem to be what we’re seeing,” added Stenehjem.

Additionally, he said, Minot’s murder rates were double what was expected, based on the population.

Negligent manslaughter rates also rose across the state. However, this statistic may partially be explained by an amendment of the term “negligent manslaughter” to include drunk driving and distracted driving.

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