Alex Eggleston

Williams County Correctional Center

A lawyer representing a man accused of a July murder has asked to withdraw from the case.

Daniel Borgen, who was appointed last year to defend Alex Eggleston, filed a motion this week saying his client has demanded he leave the case.

“Mr. Eggleston does not feel comfortable with my continued representation as his attorney,” Borgen wrote. “Mr. Eggleston does not feel that my continued representation of him is in his best interest.”

Eggleston’s case wouldn’t be hurt by the withdrawal because both sides had already agreed to postpone the trial, which had been scheduled for April 9, to July or August, Borgen wrote in his motion.

His request will be considered at a hearing Tuesday.

Eggleston, 27, was arrested July 14 after police said he shot and killed Vance Neset, 43, in the parking lot of the Super 8 in Williston.

Neset and another man were talking in the north parking lot of the motel on Second Avenue West when Eggleston approached the pair and began asking them for alcohol and cigarettes, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

The man told police that he and Neset told Eggleston to leave them alone and that Eggleston left, but came back holding a pistol, which he pointed at Neset and shot him, according to charging documents.

Eggleston was arrested hours later at the motel.

He was charged with murder and with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In the charging documents in the case, investigators wrote that they found several shell casings at the scene of the shooting and that they found ammunition of the same caliber in the room where Eggleston was staying. Police also said they found a box for a pistol in a truck registered to Eggleston.

The gun police say was used in the shooting has never been recovered.

In September, Borgen asked Northwest District Judge Josh Rustad to order a mental health evaluation to determine Eggleston’s competency to stand trial.

The evaluation should “determine if (Eggleston) is competent to stand trial and if he lacked criminal responsibility for the charges currently pending against him in Williams County,” Rustad wrote in his order.

The report from the North Dakota State Hospital was filed with the court in January. Such reports are not public.

In his motion to withdraw, Borgen wrote that the breakdown in the relationship between attorney and client is such that he can no longer represent him, and wrote his withdrawal from the case is mandatory according to the state’s rules of professional conduct for attorneys.

Eggleston is serving a two-year sentence at the North Dakota State Penitentiary for theft and assaulting an emergency worker, both felonies he pleaded guilty to in September.

In the former case, he was accused of stealing a pickup truck. In the latter, he was accused of attacking an emergency room worker for smirking at him. He was out on bond on both cases when he was arrested and charged with killing Neset.



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