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Gaede renews efforts in case

A former Gardner, N.D., man convicted of killing and butchering his friend in 2001 is asking a judge to either grant him a new trial or throw out his conviction completely.

Dennis Gaede

A former Gardner, N.D., man convicted of killing and butchering his friend in 2001 is asking a judge to either grant him a new trial or throw out his conviction completely.

Dennis Gaede was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to life without parole for Timothy Wicks' December 2001 death at Gaede's home.

The North Dakota Supreme Court rejected Gaede's appeal last year.

The 45-year-old is now acting as his own attorney and has filed a 52-page application for post-conviction relief - complete with numerous attachments and items of evidence - in Cass County District Court.

He also included an apology with the filing for the "enormity of the petition and attachments," saying he is "exhausting all issues" in his first attempt, court documents state.

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Gaede makes several arguments, such as prosecutorial misconduct and his having ineffective counsel.

He argues that his attorney Steve Mottinger should have called numerous witnesses, presented more evidence at trial and not kept him from testifying - which was his main argument during his 2007 failed appeal.

Gaede states that Mottinger did not offer his version of the shooting at trial, saying such evidence "would have exonerated" him, court documents state.

"Mottinger was told the truthful details of this case, but refused to use them, only to realize in post-trial hindsight that it was the truth that made sense of the evidence involved," Gaede's application reads.

Mottinger declined to comment.

Gaede continues to blame his ex-wife for Wicks' death, and compared the atmosphere created at trial to the Salem witch hunts, taking issue with biblical references made by both prosecutors and Mottinger.

Gaede also states that the jury should have been made aware of his suffering from gephyrophobia, a psychological disorder involving the fear of bridges.

Since Aug. 2, 2006, Gaede has been at Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin serving his sentences for 2001 convictions of harboring or aiding a felon and party to an escape, according to Rachel Krueger, communications specialist with the state's Department of Corrections.

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He is in general population and scheduled to be released from the maximum-security facility Nov. 25, Krueger said. Gaede, who has had no behavioral issues in the facility, will then go to the North Dakota State Penitentiary to serve his sentence for Wicks' death.

A hearing date on the application has not yet been set. The prosecution has not yet responded to the filing.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541

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