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Judge orders Finley woman's murder trial moved to Fargo

By Brandi Jewett / The Forum

FARGO – A judge has ordered the trial of a Finley woman accused of murdering her husband be moved from Finley to Fargo.

State District Judge Steven Marquart signed an order Friday changing the venue of the 61-year-old Sherry Midstokke’s trial from Steele County to Cass County.

In a motion filed April 23, Midstokke’s lawyer Blake Hankey argued the small population of the town and county and the publicity given to the crime would make it impossible to obtain a fair and impartial jury in Steele County.

Finley, the Steele County seat, has an estimated population of about 440 and Steele County has about 1,960 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Midstokke was arrested and charged with murder after her husband Lyle Midstokke, 66, was found dead on the couple’s bedroom floor Feb. 3.

During an interview with investigators, Sherry Midstokke admitted to killing her husband using drugs and suffocation, according to court documents.

In April, Hankey also filed a notice saying Midstokke was mentally ill at the time of the murder and was not responsible for her actions. She received a mental evaluation in at the North Dakota State Hospital in early May.

Midstokke has been jailed in Cass County since her arrest as Steele County has no jail.

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