FARGO — One of two men charged in the fatal downtown Fargo shooting of a food truck owner is slated to go to trial in December.

On Wednesday, May 27, Cass County Judge Stephannie Stiel set the murder trial of 20-year-old Kareem Lee Byrd for mid-December. Byrd and Charles Edward Harris III, 31, both face Class AA felony charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the June 7 shooting death of 38-year-old Jason “Jay” Allen Halvorson near his food truck, Texas Q BBQ and Catering in downtown Fargo.

Investigators allege Harris and Byrd got into a verbal confrontation with Halvorson at the former Sahr’s Sudden Service station parking lot, where his food truck was parked, shortly before his death. The men allegedly returned to Harris’ apartment, retrieved two guns and returned to the lot at 601 Fourth St. N. to shoot Halvorson, police said.

Both men have pleaded not guilty. They face life in prison without parole if found guilty on either charge.

A trial has not been set for Harris, though he has a hearing on June 24.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Byrd’s attorney, Steven Mottinger, has asked that his client undergo further evaluation to determine if he was in a state of mind to voluntarily waive his right to remain silent. A previous mental health evaluation found he had an IQ of 74, according to court documents.

Mottinger plans to argue Byrd did not have the intellectual capacity to waive his rights when he allegedly confessed to shooting Halvorson after hours of interrogation by police.