- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota man accused of fatally shooting one man and wounding his ex-girlfriend at a wedding reception has settled two civil lawsuits against him and is scheduled to change his not guilty pleas in the criminal case.

Authorities say David Troske shot Donald Perleberg in the back of the head and Mary Seiler in the neck and stomach, then dropped the gun and surrendered at the Sept. 6, 2015, party in New Rockford.

Troske and Seiler had once dated and lived together on Troske’s farm, but authorities have declined to discuss whether jealousy was a motive. Seiler, of New Rockford, and Perleberg, of Pingree, had not known one another before the wedding reception but did spend time together on the dance floor and were sitting at the same table when the shooting happened.

Troske, 52, is charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and a weapons count. His trial had been scheduled to start in late September. A change of plea hearing is now scheduled for Sept. 28.

If found guilty of murder, he could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. No details of any plea deal reducing charges were made public Wednesday. Eddy County State’s Attorney Travis Peterson and defense attorney Alexander Reichert did not immediately respond to email and telephone requests for comment.

Court documents show settlements were reached earlier this year in civil lawsuits filed by Perleberg’s family and Seiler seeking damages of more than $50,000.

Seiler’s attorney, Daniel Dunn, said terms of the settlement will not be released.

“The parties determined that it was in everyone’s best interest to resolve the civil case and forego a trial,” Dunn said in a statement Wednesday. “Unless something unforeseen happens, the parties expect the court will approve the distribution of the settlement proceeds in the near future.”


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