MINOT — The man who was found guilty of murder, sentenced to 40 years in the North Dakota State Penitentiary and had his sentence reversed on appeal, admitted his guilt during retrial proceedings Thursday.
Bradley Joe Morales, 32, was originally convicted in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend following a trial on the charge in May 2018 in front of Judge Douglas Mattson. However, the conviction was overturned on appeal when the ND Supreme Court ruled that Mattson violated Morales' right to a public trial by closing the courtroom at times during the trial.
Morales' second trial on the murder charge began with jury selection on Monday of this week with 10 days set aside for the proceeding. Testimony began Tuesday afternoon. Morales shunned a public defender, instead acting as his own attorney in the retrial.
Following Morales' change of plea Thursday, Mattson ordered a presentence investigation. Morales is being held in the Ward County Jail.