Records: State working to obtain DNA report sought after in Anita Knutson death investigation

Anita Knutson
Anita Knutson(KFYR-TV)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:30 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – State prosecutors are working to obtain a forensics report in the 2007 killing of Anita Knutson, according to records filed this week. The documents are being sought by the defense for the woman charged in Knutson’s killing.

On March 23, Your News Leader reported that the attorneys representing 35-year-old Nichole Rice asked the courts to compel the state to provide an updated report pertaining to a possible alternate suspect.

In a response dated March 29, Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Sorgen said the state is working with Minot Police to obtain the report from the North Dakota State Crime Lab.

Sorgen said the report should be ready April 5, and they would provide it to the defense.

In the response, Sorgen indicated that, since a trial has not been scheduled yet, they cannot compel the crime lab to expedite a case.

In his motion last week, Rice’s attorney Philip Becher indicated they believe DNA from a possible alternate male suspect was tested, but they have yet to receive those results.

Rice faces a AA-felony murder charge in Knutson’s death.

The state complied with another request from the state for contact information from a former Minot Police detective who testified to forensics in the case at Rice’s preliminary hearing, in the event the detective would be subpoenaed for deposition.

Rice, who is out on bond, has a pretrial conference set for June 14.