WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - During closing arguments on Friday afternoon, Madden focused on the comments Rademacher made during his initial interview.
“He made that decision to not turn right and go home, but to make a U-turn, drive into their yard and run into three people that he knew were trying to get out of the way. The defense wants you to believe that’s an accident,” argued Madden.
Defense returned with a final plea to the jury.
“And lastly, never forget a friend. Mr. Rademacher probably isn’t your friend. None of you know him. But he is one of us, one of you, and he’s a part of your community,” said Mottinger.
He implored the jury to consider the lesser charge of negligent homicide, citing the prosecution’s failure to prove intent.
Half an hour later, the jury had their verdict, reading to the courtroom, “We, the jury, duly impaneled and sworn to try the above-entitled action, do find the defendant, Steven Charles Rademacher, guilty of the crime of murder concerning Dyson Bastian.”
Rademacher was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and terrorizing.
The judge ordered a pre-sentencing psychological evaluation.
Until then, he will be held without bail.
“At that moment, I should’ve realized - this is the biggest thing that I missed - I missed that the gas pedal was stuck,” said Steven Rademacher, 44, as he took the stand in his own trial Friday morning.
He is on trial for hitting three people with his truck in July of 20-19, killing one of them.
Both sides peppered him with questions, but he says he never meant to hurt anyone, his vehicle simply malfunctioned.
He says he was coming home to Williston from a trip to Montana and passed the group of neighbors, one of which raised a hammer which he took as an invitation to come over for a drink.
He says he turned around to join them, but his gas pedal got stuck, causing him to jump the curb and hit the three people; maintaining he had no ill will toward them.
“Intention was never to hurt those guys. I do not know them, I’ve never met them. They are no different than the jury or the people behind you,” said Rademacher.
Prosecution questioned that, referencing his initial interview with Sergeant Detective Caleb Fry in July 29, 2019.
“You indicated that you couldn’t stand the people in this town, you couldn’t stand your neighbors,” noted State’s Attorney, Nathan Madden. “Your honor - or, not your honor - but, to the public: I love everybody in my neighborhood,” retorted Rademacher. “That isn’t the question I asked,” Madden returned. To which, Rademacher answered, “Yes. I did say something like that, apparently I did.”
Rademacher indicated he was under the influence of a substance at the time but did not specify what that substance was.
Madden and defense attorney Steven Mottinger gave their closing statements Friday afternoon. The jury will then begin deliberations.
We will update this story as soon as the jury reaches a verdict.
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