By Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2020

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A defendant accused of fatally stabbing a man at a Minot hotel has pleaded not guilty to felony murder.

Fifty-seven-year-old Milo Whitetail entered the plea Thursday in Ward County to felony murder in the death of Eric Patterson.

The 43-year-old victim was stabbed 20 times in the head, neck, chest and side last May after the two men argued over batteries that were missing from a remote control in a room at the Economy Motel, prosecutors said.

Whitetail had told police that Patterson followed him to his room and, at some point during the argument, grabbed Whitetail by the throat, according to court documents.

They toppled over the bed and landed on the floor with Patterson on top of Whitetail. Whitetail then grabbed a steak knife off the night stand, stabbed Patterson and kept stabbing because he was angry, a complaint said.

Judge Doug Mattson found probable cause for the case to move forward before Whitetail entered his plea, Minot Daily News reported.

The maximum sentence for felony murder is life without parole. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 30.

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