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Judge orders competency test for Moorhead man accused of killing co-workers, unborn child

Anthony Reese Jr. would face at least four years in prison and up to life behind bars if convicted.

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Anthony Reese Jr. appears in Cass County District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, on charges that he killed two people at a factory in Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — Attorneys for a Moorhead man accused of killing two co-workers, including a pregnant woman, last year at a Fargo manufacturing company want a doctor to determine if he is fit for trial.

Cass County Judge Wade Webb signed a commitment order on Wednesday, Jan. 12, so 35-year-old Anthony Reese Jr. can be evaluated at the North Dakota State Hospital. Reese is charged with three counts of murder for the November shooting deaths of 43-year-old Richard Pittman, 32-year-old April Carbone and Carbone’s unborn child.

One man was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and a woman died at the scene of the shooting after efforts to save her were unsuccessful.

Court documents said Reese was fired Nov. 17 from Melet Plastics, also known as Composite America, after getting into an altercation with Pittman while fixing a piece of machinery. Reese left but returned a short time later with a gun, a criminal complaint alleged.

He got into another fight before allegedly shooting Pittman multiple times. Carbone, who was eight months pregnant, also was shot several times while running away, the complaint said. Carbone and Pittman were dating and planned to name the child Layla, according to prosecutors.

Reese turned himself in that day at the Fargo Police Department, which is about two blocks west of Melet Plastics. The Fargo company at 401 27th St. N. specializes in engineered plastics, as well as natural fiber compression-molded and injection-molded agricultural and industrial equipment parts.

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Police work the scene of a shooting that took place at a north Fargo business on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.
David Samson / The Forum

If convicted, Reese could be sentenced to life in prison for each count. Under state law, he would be sentenced to at least four years in prison because he allegedly used a gun in the killings.

Reese appeared Wednesday for a hearing where he was expected to enter a plea in the case. That hearing was moved to March at the request of the defense.

Attorneys Nicole Bredahl and Tracy Hines are representing Reese in the case. A motion filed Tuesday did not specify why the attorneys believe Reese could be unfit to stand trial.

The State Hospital has 30 days to complete the competency evaluation, though it may request additional time if needed.

Reese remains in custody on a $2 million bond.

A fundraiser for Carbone and Layla that will help pay for expenses connected to their deaths is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at the American Legion in Moorhead. GoFundMe accounts for Pittman, Carbone and Layla can be found at gofundme.com/f/richie-pittmans-funeral and gofundme.com/f/memorial-costs-for-april-and-layla-carbone .

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