Judge rules 29-year-old will go to trial on murder charge

Tevin Freeman listens during his preliminary hearing Wednesday, Dec. 2 on a class AA felony charge of murder.

A judge bound a 29-year-old Williston man over for trial on a class AA felony charge of murder after a hearing Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Northwest District Judge Josh Rustad ruled there was enough evidence to hold Tevin Freeman for trial on the murder charge. Freeman was arrested in September and accused of killing 34-year-old Erica Herrera in the apartment they shared.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Detective Amber Koehn with the Williston Police Department testified Freeman was in the apartment when police arrived and found Herrera’s naked, bruised body on the floor of a bedroom. Police are still waiting on the full autopsy, Koehn said, but the medical examiner has categorized the case as a homicide and said Herrera died from blunt force trauma.

Freeman first told police that he and Herrera, who were dating, had argued, that he’d left the apartment and walked around the building and that he came back to find her on the floor, Koehn testified. He later changed his story and said Herrera had fallen and hit her head in the bathroom and he’d helped her.

Koehn said police had reviewed video surveillance footage and that showed Freeman and Herrera entering the apartment together, and no one leaving until police arrived. She told Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, that Freeman told officers the argument he’d referenced had turned physical, including punches being thrown.

“He did indicate that he had kicked her in the chest,” Koehn said.

Madden told Rustad that the evidence showed Freeman in the apartment with Herrera when she was found dead, and no one else had come or gone.

“(Freeman) admitted hitting her,” Madden said. “She died from blunt force injuries.”

Kevin McCabe, Freeman’s public defender, said the prosecution hadn’t shown anything directly implicating Freeman in Herrera’s death.

Rustad, though, ruled the prosecution had shown enough evidence for the case to move on to trial. Freeman’s trial is scheduled to start Feb. 6.

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