FARGO - A new trial date has been set in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Andrew Sadek, an undercover drug informant who was found dead in the Red River in 2014.
The suit filed by John and Tammy Sadek against Richland County and Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Weber came in the wake of Sadek’s death in 2014 when he was found in the Red River with a gunshot wound to his head and a backpack filled with rocks tied around his waist.
Following a cancelled date in April, the trial is now set for July 15, 2019.
Although autopsy results were inconclusive, Sadek’s parents maintain he was murdered due to his work as an informant, something they say authorities coerced him into doing following his arrest for selling a small amount of marijuana.
Police required Sadek to make multiple undercover drug purchases and expected him to make more before he cut off contact and disappeared in May 2014. His body was found two months later.
Timothy O’Keeffe, attorney for Andrew’s parents, said the April trial date had to be moved since there was information the plaintiffs requested but wasn’t able to obtain due to the sensitive details surrounding the ongoing investigation into Andrew’s death.
The plaintiffs now have all the information requested, O’Keeffe said, adding that he expects the trial to start July 15, 2019.
In September 2017, a judge approved moving the trial to the Stutsman County Courthouse in Jamestown because attorneys from both sides saw the difficulty in finding impartial jurors in Richland County.
Following efforts from the Sadek family, a bill known as “Andrew’s Law” was passed in April 2017.
It requires law enforcement agencies to execute a written statement with informants that includes the informant’s right to speak with an attorney and the right to stop working as an informant at any time. The law also requires law enforcement officers to undergo training before using confidential informants and mandates the North Dakota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board establish rules to provide “reasonable protective measures” for informants.