FARGO — A 44-year-old man accused of beating a man to death with a metal object last fall in a north Fargo apartment is slated to go to trial in March.

Attorneys asked Cass County Judge Steven McCollough on Wednesday, Sept. 16, to set the murder trial for Darrell Clinton Peterson. An exact date wasn’t given, but attorneys suggested March 2, with a status conference expected in late January.

Peterson could face life in prison without parole if convicted of killing 64-year-old Duane Darling in mid-November at Pioneer Manor, 201 11th St. N. Court records allege Peterson and Darling entered the latter’s apartment around 7:35 p.m. Nov. 12. Peterson left the apartment after 1 a.m. Nov. 13, and no one entered or exited the unit until someone found Darling bleeding from the head hours later, court documents said.

Darling later died at a hospital.

Court documents indicate the two men knew each other, but Peterson didn’t live at Pioneer Manor. Prosecutors alleged Peterson used a metal object, possibly a bar stool or plant stand, to repeatedly beat Darling.

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Peterson has pleaded not guilty.

It’s possible out-of-state experts could be brought in to testify in the case, Peterson’s attorney Nicholas Thornton said.