- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) - A Mandan man was charged Friday after authorities say he killed a neighbor and lit a mobile home on fire in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Rodney Friesz, 49, was charged in South Central District Court with Class AA felony murder and Class B felony arson. Judge Bruce Romanick set bond at $250,000.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon in a mobile home where police say Friesz and his brother lived. According an affidavit, Friesz told police he shot the victim once through the head with a .22-caliber rifle after the two of them argued.

After the shooting, Friesz allegedly retrieved a container of gasoline from a shed, poured it on the floor and ignited it with a torch lighter. The victim was still breathing when Friesz started the fire, according to the affidavit.

Friesz repeatedly told Romanick during Friday’s court appearance that he was acting in self-defense, after the judge had cautioned him against discussing the case, the Bismarck Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1wbrnoS).

“There were three men in my house when I came home, and they were there to kill me,” Friesz told the judge.

Police say a woman who was outside the residence at the time said she saw Friesz leave the trailer and noticed smoke coming from inside. She said she told Friesz his residence was on fire and Friesz admitted to shooting his neighbor, according to police.

The woman said Friesz gave her a phone and she called 911 to report the incident.

The name of the victim has not been released. Court documents do not list an attorney for Friesz.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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