Minot man convicted in fatal overdose appealing restitution

BISMARCK, N.D. - A Minot man convicted of negligent homicide, manufacturing and possession with intent to deliver heroin is appealing a restitution ordered by the court.

Twenty-three-year-old Aaron Bruce, although not present at the North Dakota Supreme Court Monday, is fighting against the more than $7,000 restitution ordered with his sentence for his role in the 2015 overdose death of Aidan Vanderhoef.

The restitution is set to cover funeral expenses, mileage expenses of the victim’s father and for a stolen cellphone.

Bruce’s attorney, Russell John Myhre argued in court today that the victim’s father would be “unjustly enriched,” because of life insurance.

Myhre also argued covering the father’s mileage expenses wasn’t fair because he didn’t have to attend the hearings, it was a choice.

“My client would be physically unable to supply that restitution,” said Myhre.

State Attorney Marie Ann Miller said the father’s request is covered under Marsy’s Law, because it provides constitutional rights to restitution. She said the father of the victim didn’t have to go to the hearings, but it was his right to do so.

The justices will decide what to do moving forward.