Man accused of murdering Grand Forks police officer goes on trial

June 30, 2021

GRAND FORKS, N.D.– Jury selection is underway today in the trial of Salamah Pendleton (pictured), charged in the shooting death of a Grand Forks, North Dakota police officer.

After reviewing a state hospital evaluation, Northeast Central District Judge Don Hager – in consultation with defense attorney Steve Mottinger determined that Pendleton is capable of proceeding with the trial. Pendleton faces two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and single counts of criminal mischief, terrorizing, reckless endangerment, and possession with intent to deliver/manufacture marijuana.

Authorities say Pendleton opened fire killing 29-year old Officer Cody Holte in a south Grand Forks apartment in May 2020. Pendleton’s 61-year old mother was also killed. The prosecution is expected to call three dozen witnesses to the stand. During a status conference Monday it was suggested there will also be about 40 exhibits for the court to consider.

Hager says correctional officials did a security walk-through of the courthouse last week because of the high profile nature of the case and also says he won’t issue a written order but he is instructing attorneys not to talk to the media until the case is disposed.

The court has cleared nearly two weeks for trial.