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New Rockford Man Admits Guilt in Murder at Wedding Dance

New Rockford Man Admits Guilt in Murder at Wedding Dance

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — A New Rockford man pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder in a wedding dance shooting under a plea deal before Judge Thomas Merrick in Southeast District Court in Jamestown on Wednesday.

David Troske, 52, pleaded guilty to the murder of Donald “Donnie” Perleberg, Pingree, and the attempted murder of Mary Seiler, New Rockford, at the dance on Sept. 6, 2015, at the New Rockford Eagles Club. The change of plea hearing was held before Judge Thomas Merrick in Southeast District Court in Jamestown under an agreement by both parties in the case and the families of the victims. His sentencing will be in December.

Travis Peterson, Eddy County state’s attorney, provided the factual basis for the guilty plea. Peterson said Troske and Seiler had dated but were friends at the time of the shootings. He described Troske’s movements on the night of Sept. 6 based on video security camera footage and eyewitness accounts.

Troske approached the table where Perleberg and Seiler were seated from behind. “Thereafter and without provocation, David Troske fired one shot into the neck of Donald Perleberg, killing him,” Peterson said.

Peterson also described Seiler standing before she was shot by Troske once in the neck and a second shot in the chest when she was on the floor in a fetal position.

Troske agreed that the essential elements of Peterson’s description of the shootings were correct.

Troske did not comment during the proceeding other than responding to yes or no questions from Merrick.

People in the nearly full gallery had been warned prior to the proceedings that any outbursts would result in expulsion from the courtroom and exclusion from any future proceedings in the case.

Merrick ordered a presentence investigation be completed by Nov. 9. Troske’s sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 15 at the Eddy County Courthouse in New Rockford.

The murder charge, a Class AA felony, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole. The attempted murder charge, a Class A felony, is punishable by 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Charges of aggravated assault, a Class B felony, three counts of reckless endangerment, Class C felonies, and possession of a firearm in a bar, a Class A misdemeanor, were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Personal injury civil lawsuits against Troske filed by Perleberg’s son, J.R. Perleberg, and Seiler are proceeding with motion hearings scheduled for Jan. 27.

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