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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • ND convict sues his public defender for $5 million

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  • FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man sentenced to life in prison for his role in a drug ring is suing his public defender for $5 million. Marcus Royston claims that defense attorney Steven Mottinger, of Fargo, did a poor job of representing him and has filed a legal malpractice suit in federal court. Mottinger says Royston's complaint is frivolous and should be dismissed. Royston was among eight people accused of distributing crack cocaine in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson said during sentencing that some of the evidence against Royston didn't make sense, but had no choice but to hand down the mandatory life term. Mottinger had argued that the life sentence was unfair because the accused ringleader in the case received 45 years.
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