BISMARCK, North Dakota — A jury has acquitted a Bismarck man of trying to kill his wife but found him guilty of two lesser charges.
Terry Link was charged with attempted murder last October, about two months after Tamara Link had filed for divorce after a marriage of more than 20 years. Authorities alleged Link held his wife down and tried to strangle her, and threatened her with a kitchen knife.
The jury deliberated for about five hours on Thursday before finding Link not guilty of attempted murder, the Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1IVq0zP ). Jurors did, however, find Link guilty of interfering with an emergency phone call and preventing arrest.
Burleigh County Senior Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Nesvig argued that seven state witnesses' accounts while not entirely consistent were generally the same.
"Everybody remembers things a little bit differently," said Nesvig, who accused Link's attorney of using "smoke and mirrors" and "red herrings" to mislead the jury.
Defense attorney Amanda Harris highlighted what she described as major inconsistencies in the statements of the state's witnesses, which included Tamara Link, as well as the couple's daughter.
She said that testimony from responding police officers and a Bismarck detective was based on assumptions they made after hearing remarks from Terry Link the night he was arrested.
"You're just going to have to use your common sense," Harris said. "We just can't convict people of heinous crimes because of assumptions."
Link has been in jail since Oct. 26 and will remain in custody at least until Monday, when a judge reviews his bond.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com