WILLISTON, N.D. - Thirty-three-year-old Cole Peters pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday to attempted murder, two counts of gross sexual imposition and felonious restraint and is headed to trial on May 4.
On Dec. 28, an officer pulled over a woman for running a red light and found that she was covered in blood and was on her way to the Emergency Room.
Detective Caleb Fry with the Williams County’s Sheriff’s Office said the victim was with Peters in a hotel room prior to being pulled over.
Fry testified that Peters and the woman got into an altercation where Peters raped, strangled and beat her, breaking her eye-socket and vertebrae, and leaving bruises that were “the worst I’ve ever seen in my 14 years as an officer,” according to Fry.
Fry said the victim stated that before the altercation, a man glanced at her in Walmart, and Peters got angry and started threatening to kill her on their way back to the hotel.
Officers say they searched and found blood on the walls of the hotel-room, which was in disarray, as well as blood-soaked pillows and bed-sheets.
The defense attorney said the charges against Peters were changed from domestic assault to attempted murder three days later; after the State consulted with officers.
They argued that Peters did not take the “substantial steps toward committing Murder” that are required by North Dakota Century Code to charge someone with Attempted Murder.