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State, defense provide opening arguments in Vickerman murder trial

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – Tuesday morning, 16 jurors heard opening statements in the trial of 31-year-old Christopher Vickerman, a Minot man accused of killing his father, Mark Vickerman, in May of 2019.

Opening statements from State’s Attorney Roza Larson painted 55-year-old Mark Vickerman as a pillar in the community, a family man murdered by his angry son.

“It’s a case where his son became angry with his father. It’s also a case about a son blaming his father for his own failures,” said Larson.

However, Christopher’s Defense Attorney Robert Martin said his client suffered from mental health concerns during the 2019 incident that may have affected his mental capacity.

“There are two prongs to the mental health defense, either one of which defeats the charge. There is no criminal responsibility,” said Martin.

The alleged murder was caught on tape.

“You see Mark go to the door, you see his feet, you see the door open, and then you see Mark turn and fall the bottom of the stairs, to his death,” said Larson.

The state called several witnesses to the stand Tuesday to provide additional video surveillance from the day of the incident to prove that Christopher was the shooter.

“The state intends to offer video showing what we believe is the defendant’s vehicle going to and from mark’s home around that 1:57 p.m. time where Mark was found, where he fell to his death,” said Larson.

Meanwhile, the defense is claiming the video evidence proves nothing.

“They don’t have anything showing Christopher’s face in the time of the homicide. They don’t have anything showing him parked outside the house at the time of the homicide. It simply does not exist,” said Martin.

Other evidence to be looked at during the 10-day trial include ballistics from the crime scene and from a gun recovered from Christopher’s residence.

Christopher Vickerman is facing a AA-felony murder charge, if convicted he can be sentenced to life in prison.

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