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Prosecutor: Finley woman killed husband with 'drugs and asphyxiation'

Sherry Midstokke told deputies she “intentionally” killed her husband in their Finley, N.D., home on Monday “by means of drugs and asphyxiation,” according to court documents filed this morning.

Midstokke, 60, is in the Cass County jail in Fargo, awaiting her initial appearance later today on a Class AA felony count of murder that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole if she were to be convicted.

According to Steele County Sheriff Wayne Beckman, Midstokke called 911 about 7:30 a.m., Monday and said she had just returned home from work as a nursing assistant and found her husband, Lyle Midstokke, 66, dead.

Deputies responded and found Lyle Midstokke’s body on the floor of their bedroom, according to the affidavit of probable cause written by Jeramie Quam of the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and filed Wednesday in state district court in Finley.

After a preliminary investigation, Lyle Midstokke’s body was taken to Grand Forks for an autopsy. Sherry Midstokke left her home and went to Mayville, N.D., about 25 miles east, where she has family members, Beckman said.

Late Monday afternoon Quam and Arnie Rummel of the BCI interviewed her at the Mayville police station where she “admitted to intentionally killing Lyle Midstokke by means of drugs and asphyixiation,” Quam said in his affidavit. “Physical evidence at the crime scene substantiates Sherry Midstokke’s admission, including items used to asphyxiate Lyle Midstokke.”

Midstokke, who turns 61 on Saturday, grew up in Finley, as did her husband, Beckman said.

She worked at a certified nursing assistant at facilities in the area, he said.

Lyle Midstokke worked for a farmer. The couple have three adult children and several grandchildren.

There is no criminal history with the couple and Beckman said his department never received a call of any domestic dispute from the Midstokkes.

He plans to attend Midstokke’s initial court appearance today that will be held in the Cass County courthouse, Beckman said.