Minot man sentenced to 35 years in 2017 fatal stabbing

Bradley Morales
Bradley Morales(KFYR-TV)
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 5:36 PM CST
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UPDATED STORY: Minot man sentenced in fatal stabbing case that saw two trials

MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - The courts have ordered a Minot man who pleaded guilty mid-trial to murder in a 2017 stabbing death to serve 35 years in prison.

The re-trial for 32-year-old Bradley Morales ended abruptly last March when he elected to plead guilty in the death of 25-year-old Sharmaine Leake.

At Friday’s sentencing, Morales surprised the court again by filing an 11th-hour motion to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he had received ineffective counsel, and claiming witnesses had lied on the stand.

Judge Douglas Mattson denied his request.

Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson called for Morales’ original sentence.

“This is the same case, the same fact pattern, there is no reason that he should be given anything less than what he was originally given, and that’s forty years,” said Larson. Morales will have to serve at least 85 percent of the 35-year sentence before being eligible for parole.

He will receive credit for more than 2,000 days already served.

We’ll have more from Friday’s hearing on KMOT First News at 6 and 10.