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Authorities say killer cooperating

A man who admitted to killing a retired LaMoure County farmer will be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, after meeting the terms of a plea agreement, authorities say.

A man who admitted to killing a retired LaMoure County farmer will be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, after meeting the terms of a plea agreement, authorities say.

Steve Thomas, 41, of Fargo, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month and agreed to help authorities find the body of Norman Limesand, 82, of Marion, a neighbor who disappeared on Nov. 12, 1999. Authorities said the two had argued that day and Thomas shot Limesand.

Prosecutors say the plea agreement called for Thomas to face a charge of murder if he was uncooperative in finding the body. He then could have faced life in prison.

Authorities have put Thomas under hypnosis and gave him a lie detector test.

LaMoure County State's Attorney Kim Rademacher said Thomas has been cooperating. He said the results of both tests show that Thomas is confused and can't remember where he dumped the body.

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"It sounded like he was taking back roads to avoid hunters so he probably could have slipped onto a road he wasn't familiar with," Rademacher said.

Authorities said Thomas and Limesand argued over water drainage on the day Limesand disappeared. His pickup was found four days later, parked along a street in Moorhead. Authorities found blood on the pickup, and tests showed it was Limesand's. He was declared dead in 2002.

Thomas is slated for sentencing in February.

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