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UPDATE: suspect charged in killing of Anita Knutson posts bond, as new details emerge in investigation

Arrest Made in Anita Knutson Cold Case
Arrest Made in Anita Knutson Cold Case(Karen Leier)
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 3:57 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. - UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.: Nichole Rice posted bond, according to the Ward County Sheriff’s Department.

ORIGINAL STORY: The woman charged with murder in the 15-year-old case of the killing of Anita Knutson made her first initial appearance by video at the Ward County courthouse Thursday afternoon.

Judge Richard Hagar set Nichole Rice’s bond at $120,000 cash, or a $250,000 surety bond.

The judge heard from both the state and the defense before setting the bond, ruling that Rice has not left the area in more than 15 years and has family here tying her to Minot.

The 34-year-old Rice faces an AA-felony for the stabbing death of 18-year-old Anita Knutson in 2007.

Minot police arrested Rice Wednesday. Rice was Knutson’s roommate during the time of the killing.

According to a criminal affidavit filed with the court Thursday, William May, a former love interest of Rice’s “described Nichole as having gotten ‘belligerently drunk’” at a get-together in the years following Knutson’s death, “and, as they were about to go to bed, May said that Nichole told him she ‘did it.’”

The affidavit later states “Nichole told police that she was at her family’s farm by Velva when Anita was murdered. Statements received from Nichole were inconsistent and contradicted each other. Statements by members of her family were also inconsistent.”

Rice will be back in court April 21 for her preliminary hearing and arraignment.

She faces the chance of life in prison without parole if convicted.

The woman charged with murder in the 15-year-old case of the killing of Anita Knutson made her...
The woman charged with murder in the 15-year-old case of the killing of Anita Knutson made her first initial appearance by video at the Ward County courthouse Thursday afternoon.(none)

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