JAMESTOWN, N.D.-A 27-year-old man accused of shooting and killing his ex-wife in the parking lot of a Jamestown apartment building in which she lived with their two young children made his initial court appearance Tuesday, May 15.

Kevin Hoff was charged with murder, a Class AA felony, Monday afternoon by Stutsman County State's Attorney Fritz Fremgen. The maximum penalty for a Class AA felony is life in prison.

Judge Jay Schmidt set Hoff's bond at $500,000 cash.

Schmidt also included a request from Fremgen that if Hoff is able to post the bond, he is to have no contact with his sister and the court reporter from the divorce proceedings between Hoff and Gututala. Fremgen said the court reporter felt threatened by Hoff in communications she had with him in which Hoff said the court reporter's record of the divorce proceedings was inaccurate.

Hoff said he didn't want any bond and applied for a court-appointed attorney.

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Hoff allegedly shot Nicole Gututala shortly before 3:55 p.m. Saturday while she was sitting in a vehicle. A short time after the initial reports came in, Hoff called the communications center and allegedly said he was the person who did the shooting and turned himself in.

Fremgen said Hoff has no prior criminal record in North Dakota and nothing appeared in a multi-state search of criminal records. He said his staff will be looking through Hoff's military record to see if there were any criminal charges during his time in the Army.

No date has been set for a preliminary hearing.