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Alberts Pleads Not Guilty in Murder of 21-Month-Old Girl

June 26, 2007

By Grand Forks Herald, N.D.

Jun. 25–James Alberts Jr., 17, St. Michael, N.D., waived his preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty in a Devils Lake court today in the murder of his girlfriend’s daughter, 21-month-old Katrina Ann Rardon on Jan. 5.

Alberts was home alone with the toddler when a 911 call was made at 11:24 a.m. The caller said the girl wasn’t breathing. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Authorities reported that the child died of blunt force trauma to the head. The original criminal complaint brought against Alberts stated he allegedly sexually assaulted or tried to sexually assault the child before she died. But, the attempted sexual assault charge is not being pursued at this time, according to the office of Ramsey County State’s Attorney Lonnie Olson.

Alberts is being tried in adult court and is being represented by attorneys Bill Hartl and Coral Mahler. His bail was set at $500,000 in May.

Officials are expecting a two-week trial in December, until then Alberts is being held at Lake Region Correctional Center in Devils Lake.

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Copyright (c) 2007, Grand Forks Herald, N.D.

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