Northwood woman accused of murdering Grand Forks teen deemed fit to stand trial

Samantha Jo Wilson, 32, has been deemed mentally competent and fit to stand trial for the murder of 15-year-old Jonah Borth.

Samantha Wilson

Samantha Jo Wilson, accused of shooting and killing a Grand Forks teen in her Northwood residence in January, has been deemed fit to stand trial.

Wilson, 32, faces up to life in prison without parole if she is convicted of shooting and killing 15-year-old Jonah Borth on Jan. 26. Her legal proceedings were stayed pending an evaluation by the state hospital.

She faces an additional charge for allegedly spitting on a Grand Forks County correctional officer.

In court on Friday morning, Aug. 7, the evaluation indicated that Wilson has no preexisting mental conditions that would keep her from understanding the charges brought against her or from communicating with her attorney. Wilson's attorney, Rhiannon Gorham, said that, at present, she has no concerns about her client's ability to communicate and did not intend to contest the state hospital evaluation.


According to an affidavit dated July 7 and written by Grand Forks County Sheriff Capt. Joel Lloyd, deputies were dispatched to Wilson's residence on Lander Avenue in Northwood just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 26 for a report of a 15-year-old with a gunshot wound to his upper chest. Deputies were informed that the teen’s father and step-mother were performing CPR.

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The teen, later identified as Borth, was pronounced dead at the scene. Four other people were present at the residence at the time, according to the affidavit: Borth's father Ray "Perry" Borth, Wilson – identified as Perry Borth's friend – and Wilson's two 8-year-old children.
The affidavit stated that a 9mm pistol was recovered on the floor of a common area of the residence near where Borth had been lying.

Lloyd wrote that he also observed two pools of blood in different areas of the home, at least one spent shell casing near the entrance to a bathroom, smears of blood on walls in multiple areas of the home, including on an exterior wall that is also cracked where it appears to have been punched, and a heavily damaged and overturned chair in the common area of the residence.

In a search of the residence the following morning, law enforcement seized the Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, the 9mm shell casing, and a single bullet that is believed to have killed Borth. Multiple swabs for DNA evidence were taken.

In a forensic interview with law enforcement later that day, Wilson told investigators that she shot Borth, according to the affidavit. She stated that she believed the shooting was an accident, and that Borth was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The pistol was swabbed for additional DNA evidence on July 6, according to the affidavit.


A preliminary hearing and arraignment has been set in Wilson's case for Sept. 28. A final dispositional conference has been set for Dec. 10.

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