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Fargo double murder suspect denied bail, says he doesn't understand charges

Ashley Kenneth Hunter appears in Cass County Court via videoconference Wednesday. He faces two felony murder charges and one felony arson charge. Hunter denied understanding the charges against him. (Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor)

FARGO - The man accused in the double murder of two Fargo men and an arson he allegedly set to cover up the second killing insisted at a court hearing he didn't understand the charges against him.

Ashley Kenneth Hunter, 35, told the court he couldn't have killed two people in one day and that he didn't even know the second victim in the case, 24-year-old Sam Traut.

Prosecutors allege the two were strangers, and that Hunter killed Traut because he was running from the first killing and thought Traut might have identified him as the man wanted by Fargo police. He then set the fire at Traut's home to cover up the murder, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors asked for no bail set in the case, because of Hunter's extensive criminal history and because North Dakota century code allows no bail in capital charges.

Judge Norman Anderson granted their request and cut off Hunter as he appeared to argue his innocence in court.

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