Courts - North Dakota Man charged in brother's death claims self defense

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- A Manvel man charged with murder in the killing of his brother says it was self defense.

Rodney Chisholm told the Grand Forks Herald that he and his brother had a dispute over property and that Donald Chisholm attacked him with a metal pipe.

Rodney Chisholm, 45, said he defended himself using the pipe then strangled his 59-year-old brother because he feared for his life.

"How many chances are you going to want to give someone?" he said.

He said he did not report his brother's death because he did not trust the sheriff's department.

Chisholm was arrested July 2 on suspicion of possessing more than $100,000 in farm equipment stolen in North Dakota and Minnesota. He bailed out of jail Saturday, then allegedly stole a relative's car and drove to Nebraska, where he was arrested Sunday.

He told the Herald he was going to visit a high school friend in California, and was hoping to borrow enough money to hire a lawyer. He also wanted the therapy of a road trip.

"I needed to kind of go for a little drive ... clear my head," he said.

Authorities said a body believed to be that of Donald Chisholm was found Wednesday evening on family property northeast of Mekinock. He had not been heard from since June 25. Rodney Chisholm was charged with murder Thursday.

His bail is set at $1 million. A July 15 hearing is set on whether the court should appoint a public defender. If he is convicted of murder he could face life in prison without parole.

Published: Mon, Jul 12, 2010