MINOT – Entering the courtroom under heavy guard, Casey Vollmer, 33, Minot, made his initial appearance in North-Central District Court late Tuesday. Vollmer is charged with the murder of Albert Granger, 57, a class AA felony punishable by up to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Vollmer was arrested by Minot Police during the early evening of Friday, February 17, following a report of a disturbance at the Economy Hotel on North Broadway in Minot. According to an affidavit filed with the court, police found an unconscious male lying outside a doorway to the hotel. The man was transported to Trinity Hospital.
A witness said the man had been assaulted by Vollmer. Police arrested Vollmer after securing a warrant, making a forced entry into his room at the hotel, and then transported him to the Ward County Jail on a charge of Aggravated Assault. When the victim died of his injuries shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday the charge against Vollmer was changed to Murder.
Five uniformed officers of the Ward County Sheriff’s Office escorted Vollmer into the courtroom Tuesday. The precaution was not without cause. On June 6, 2022, Vollmer had assaulted two corrections officers which resulted in charges leading to a five-year sentence in the Department of Corrections, a sentence which was reduced to 152 days already served in jail, 18 months supervised probation, and restitution.
At the time of the assault in the Ward County Jail, Vollmer was awaiting a court appearance on a class B felony charge of Endangering by fire or explosion – extreme indifference. On November 11, 2022, Vollmer entered a guilty plea to that charge and was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections. Vollmer was ordered to first serve 321 days, the amount of time he had been in jail, three years supervised probation, and was released. Vollmer had also completed a mental health evaluation while in custody.
During Tuesday’s appearance, the state noted Vollmer’s criminal history and described him as “known to be unpredictable” and that it was unknown what would “set him off”.
Vollmer talked over Judge Gary Lee several times during the proceedings and was continually talking and mumbling throughout his appearance. The defendant was read his rights by Lee and responded that he “understood”.
Lee set bail at $1-million and scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 30 at 3 p.m.