Woman makes first court appearance in shooting of 15-year-old Grand Forks boy

Samantha Wilson, 32, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of shooting 15-year-old Jonah Borth, of Grand Forks, with a pistol. She will make her next court appearance on March 2.

Samantha Jo Wilson

A Northwood, N.D., woman made her first appearance in court on a charge of murdering a Grand Forks boy intentionally or with extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Samantha Wilson, 32, was arrested Monday, Jan. 27, on suspicion of shooting 15-year-old Jonah Borth in the upper chest with a 9mm pistol.

Deputies with the Grand Forks Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a male with a gunshot wound around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, according to court documents. Medical personnel attempted lifesaving measures, but Borth was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies learned through investigation that Wilson allegedly used the gun to fire at least one round at Borth, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Other people in the residence at the time of the shooting include Jonah Borth's father, Ray Borth, and Wilson's two children, both 8 years old, according to the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office in a news release.


Sheriff Andy Schneider reported that Wilson, in the back of a law enforcement vehicle while en route to the jail, became uncooperative and began banging her head, which resulted in lacerations. Upon arrival at the jail, she spit on correctional officers, according to Schneider, who characterized the ongoing investigation as "complex."

Wilson, an Ohio native, has been a North Dakota resident for about seven years and lives in Northwood with her two children and husband, an active member of the U.S. Air Force. She told the court Tuesday that her children are in the care of social services and her husband is deployed.

When asked by Grand Forks County District Judge Jay Knudson whether alcohol was a factor in the shooting, Carmell Mattison, the Grand Forks County Deputy State's Attorney, declined to speculate.

Knudson set Wilson's bond at $250,000 cash or surety. Due to Wilson's limited ties to the area, he ordered Wilson to surrender her passport and not to leave the state. She also was ordered to surrender any firearms she owned and not to contact the victim's family.

If convicted, Wilson faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole for the murder charge. She also was charged with spitting blood on a corrections officer at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Wilson will appear in court again at 9 a.m. March 2 for a preliminary hearing and arraignment. A final dispositional conference has been scheduled for May 14.

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