Trial dates set in Minot fatal bar shooting, judge keeps bond intact

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 7:36 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – The courts refused to lower bond for a 40-year-old man charged with manslaughter in a shooting death at a Minot bar in May.

Travis McDermott has been in custody in the Ward County Jail since his arrest in May in the shooting at The Original Bar & Nightclub.

Prosecutors said McDermott and 32-year-old Greyson Sletto got into an altercation at the bar in the early morning hours of May 14.

Investigators said when McDermott fell to the ground, he pulled out a gun and fired it at Sletto twice, killing him.

At a hearing Wednesday morning in Minot, McDermott’s attorney asked Judge Todd Cresap to allow him to post 10 percent of his quarter-million-dollar bond.

In July, Cresap agreed to cut the bond in half from $500,000 to $250,000.

Attorney Elisabeth Hewett told the court McDermott was not a flight risk and would agree to a GPS monitor.

Hewett, who maintained the incident was an act of self-defense, also indicated her client had been on good behavior in jail since his arrest.

“I did confirm with jail staff as well [Tuesday] [Travis McDermott] has been on good behavior and he does not have any sort of write-ups. Just speaking with him as well, he indicated that he did in fact actually implement the Heimlich maneuver on another inmate as well. So he is willing to give help are needed,” said Hewett.

The prosecution balked at the idea of lowering the bond, citing the fact that a person was killed and that McDermott unlawfully brought a gun into a bar.

“Someone didn’t just pass in this case. A young man who died violently at the hands of Mr. McDermott, who was a complete stranger to him, because Mr. McDermott felt the need to bring a loaded gun into a bar. Not only did someone die, numerous others were endangered by that act,” said Tiffany Sorgen, Ward County Deputy State’s Attorney.

Cresap declined to adjust the bond, noting that nothing in the case had changed since they had last revisited the bond issue.

The courts scheduled a five-day jury trial in the case for late January but kept the window open for what’s known as a ‘rule 11′ request in the event of any plea agreement.

McDermott, who pleaded not guilty to manslaughter (B felony) and reckless endangerment (C felony) in July, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the B-felony charge.

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