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Supreme Court denies prosecutors request in Gibbs' trial

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Supreme Court has denied a request from prosecutors in the Moe Gibbs murder trial who sought the right to introduce evidence hinting at a possible motive for the murder of Mindy Morgenstern.

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Supreme Court has denied a request from prosecutors in the Moe Gibbs murder trial who sought the right to introduce evidence hinting at a possible motive for the murder of Mindy Morgenstern.

In papers filed earlier this week, prosecutors asked the court to dismiss a trial court ruling that prohibited evidence about Gibb's alleged sexual indiscretions, including a sexual assault at the Barnes County Jail he is accused of committing the morning Morgenstern was killed.

The state argued such a request - known as a supervisory writ - was justified because the crime does not make sense without the additional evidence.

The defense has successfully fought to keep out evidence about additional charges Gibbs faces in a 2004 Fargo rape and in the sexual assault of five female inmates, arguing they have "no connection whatsoever" to the murder case and make for a sham argument.

This morning, two doctors took the stand to testify about injuries Moe Gibbs received around the time that Mindy Morgenstern was killed in September 2006 during Gibbs' second murder trial that continued this afternoon.

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Morgenstern's boyfriend and her boyfriend's father were scheduled to take the stand this afternoon in testimony. Court is expected to adjuorn early today, about 4:15 p.m., so that Gibbs can have more time for visitation with his family and friends, Southeast Judicial District Judge John Paulson said.

Testimony has continued unimpeded since late this morning after an hour delay in the trial.

About 8:30 a.m. this morning Paulson stopped the trial to allow Gibbs to consult his attorneys, Jeff Bredahl and Dennis Fisher because Gibbs told the judge his laywers weren't listening to him and he was considering representing himself during his trial.

The matter arose after questioning of a Valley City police detective regarding an interview with Gibbs. When Fisher didn't ask the detective a question that Gibbs wanted him to ask, Gibbs asked the judge if he could ask it himself.

Gibbs then said he would like to represent himself.

"I would like to protest these proceedings. I would like to go back," he said.

Paulson sent the jury out of the courtroom and explained to Gibbs the danger of representing himself and the seriousness of the case.

"Obviously, I'm trying to consult with them, and because I don't have their legal expertise, they just blow me off like I'm nothing," Gibbs said of his attorneys.

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He added, "I don't even want to be here now," and said he would get new attorneys.

Paulson said he would stop the proceedings and allow Gibbs to consult with his attorneys and possibly represent himself.

Gibbs, 35, is facing a Class AA felony murder charge for Morgenstern's death.

A jury in Minot, N.D., deadlocked 6-6 in July over whether the former Barnes County jailer strangled and cut the throat of the 22-year-old New Salem, N.D., native on Sept. 13, 2006, in her Valley, City, N.D., apartment.

Gibbs was a Barnes County jailer and lived in the same building at the time of his Sept. 20, 2006 arrest. He faces a maximum sentence of life without parole if convicted.

For more detail, read Friday's Forum and watch WDAY 6 news at 6 and 10 p.m. tonight. Supreme Court denies prosecutors request in Gibbs' trial Brittany Lawonn 20071101

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