- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) - A Mandan man accused of killing a friend and setting his brother’s mobile home on fire to cover up the crime is on trial.

Rodney Friesz has pleaded not guilty to murder and arson charges in the October 2014 slaying of 62-year-old Gene Jassmann. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Authorities allege Friesz shot Jassmann in the head with a .22-caliber rifle after the two argued, then lit the home on fire. State Forensic Examiner William Massello testified Tuesday that Jassmann died of the gunshot wound with smoke inhalation a contributing factor.

Defense attorney Monty Mertz says Friesz acted in self-defense. He also says Friesz had a bad reaction to marijuana and methamphetamine the day of the killing.


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