FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A man charged with three counts of murder in the shooting deaths of two co-workers and their unborn child at a North Dakota factory last year has changed course and wants to proceed with a trial, the defense said during a change of plea hearing Monday.
Anthony Reese Jr., of Moorhead, Minnesota, dropped a plan to enter guilty pleas to the charges, according to the Clerk of District Court's Office in Cass County.
Reese, 36, is charged with killing 43-year-old Richard Pittman and 32-year-old April Carbone, who was eight months pregnant with a child they had planned to name Layla, according to a criminal complaint.
Police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting an active shooter last Nov. 17 at Composite America in Fargo and found the victims. Carbone died at the scene and Pittman was declared dead at a hospital.
Authorities said Pittman, Reese and another employee, Pourdeye Kegbeh, had been involved in an altercation on the factory floor prior to the shooting. Management ordered Reese to leave the business but he returned a short time later and confronted Pittman, Kegbeh said.
Kegbeh told police that Reese pulled out a handgun and shot Pittman numerous times before he turned and fired multiple shots at Carbone.
Reese drove to the Fargo Police Department later that day and turned himself in. He told officers that he had ditched the gun in a residential neighborhood, and investigators later found the 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Detectives also recovered multiple 9mm cartridge casings at the crime scene.
Reese's attorney, Tracy Reames, declined to elaborate on Reese's plan to go to trial, saying any comment could impact the defense strategy.