Watford City Judge Assigned to High-Profile Minot Murder Case Following Recusal of Local Officials

Minot, North Dakota – A new judge has been appointed to oversee the case of a man accused of murder and attempted murder in a shooting incident on Christmas Eve. Following the recusal of all Ward County judicial officers due to their familiarity with the suspect and alleged victims, Northwest District Judge Daniel El-Dweek from Watford City has been assigned to preside over the case. Additionally, the Ward County State’s Attorney staff have also recused themselves, and Stark County State’s Attorney Amanda Engelstad will serve as the special prosecutor.

Daniel Breijo, a 39-year-old from Surrey, is facing charges of murder, attempted murder, and assault. He is accused of murdering Master Sgt. Nicholas Van Pelt, a 41-year-old from Minot, and shooting an unidentified female victim. Breijo also allegedly assaulted a police officer during the booking process. Authorities reported signs of intoxication at the time of the incident.

Due to rescheduling, Breijo’s preliminary hearing is now set for February 29 at 2 p.m. This delay allows time for the new judge to familiarize themselves with the case and ensure a fair trial.

The appointment of a new judge and the recusals of the Ward County judicial officers and state’s attorney staff demonstrate the commitment to impartiality and avoiding any conflicts of interest in this case. By bringing in Judge El-Dweek and Special Prosecutor Engelstad, the legal system aims to ensure justice is served.

These developments highlight the seriousness of the charges against Breijo and the significant impact of the shooting incident. The murder of Sgt. Van Pelt and the attempted murder of the female victim not only resulted in tragic loss but also caused fear and concern within the community.

As the case moves forward, it becomes crucial to remember the importance of a fair and impartial trial. With a new judge and special prosecutor on board, the legal proceedings will likely proceed with renewed attention to ensuring justice and addressing the alleged crimes. The rescheduled preliminary hearing in February will provide an opportunity for the presentation of evidence and the examination of witnesses.

The appointment of Judge El-Dweek and the involvement of Special Prosecutor Engelstad reflect the prioritization of fairness and justice in this high-profile case. As the community awaits further developments, the defendant will have the opportunity to present his side of the story while the prosecution seeks to ensure accountability for the crimes committed.

Daniel Breijo, charged with murder, attempted murder, and assault, will face the legal consequences of his alleged actions. With the appointment of a new judge and special prosecutor, the legal process moves towards providing a fair and just resolution for all parties involved.