GRAFTON, N.D. — A trial for an Adams man accused of shooting his 36-year-old daughter during an argument in May will begin with jury selection on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and is expected to last four days.
Steven Donald Aune, 66, could face up to life in prison, if convicted. Due to the amount of media coverage the case has received, 84 potential jurors will be called as opposed to the usual 30.
According to court documents, Aune's other daughter, Stacey Aune, 36, was in her upstairs bedroom in his rural Adams residence the morning of May 1 when she heard a "pop" like a firecracker. She went downstairs and saw Stephanie Aune, 36, leaning over the kitchen table. Stephanie Aune, who was badly hurt, told her sister to take her to the hospital, according to an affidavit for Aune's arrest.
Stacey told investigators that Aune's demeanor was one of "disbelief." Stacey Aune drove her sister to the hospital while Steven Aune stayed at the residence, according to the affidavit.
Stephanie died later that morning at the hospital of a severe gunshot wound to her abdomen.
When questioned by the Walsh County Sheriff's Department, the elder Aune said he and his daughter, Stephanie, had been fighting because she and her sister "stress him out because he still has to take care of them."
Aune also told investigators he didn't intend to shoot Stephanie and didn't recall pulling the trigger on the .22 semiautomatic gun, according to the affidavit. Aune also said he didn't believe the wound was that serious.
"Died," he said when informed of his daughter's death, according to court documents. "You're kidding. I'm sorry. I have to go to jail for the rest of my life, then."