CAVALIER, N.D. — The case against a 40-year-old Drayton man accused of causing a car to fatally strike a woman in Drayton has been placed on hold so more evidence can be reviewed.
According to an affidavit filed in Pembina County District Court, Matthew Hilton and Kammi Leland were standing in the road outside his Drayton home when he pointed a rifle at a passing car just after midnight on May 22. Fearing for his life, the driver ducked and swerved, striking Leland and killing her, documents state.
Hilton told police that people were doing donuts and burnouts in his yard and he took the rifle out to intimidate them and pointed it in the air, the affidavit said. Hilton was arrested for terrorizing and faces manslaughter and felony terrorizing charges in connection to the incident. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Hilton was released from Pembina County Jail soon after being arrested, but just days later attempted suicide while drinking, according to a bench warrant request issued by authorities who said Hilton violated pre-trial release conditions.
After a preliminary hearing in the case on Friday, Aug. 9, prosecutors and defense will now review 70 newly introduced pages of evidence and won't return to court until November.
Leland's family came to the Pembina County Courthouse from as far away as the Bismarck area on Friday hoping to learn more about what happened — the first time most of Leland’s family came face-to-face with Hilton.
Kristen Look still remembers getting the call from police about her sister’s death.
"I just fell. There was a noise that came out of me like an animal," she said, expressing frustration that her family must now wait longer for more answers on what happened. "Now the waiting begins again he walks free and we are like prisoners," Look said. “We don't want to see him except for in orange. I want his family to feel like we do right now.”
Leland, of the Mayville area, is described by family members as a tomboy and was an award-winning athlete in high school who loved animals and the outdoors. She loved cutting hair and worked at various shops from Fargo to Grand Forks.