Grand Forks Man Pleads Not Guilty to Multiple Felonies, Including Attempted Murder

Jeffrey Simpson Jr.
Jeffrey Simpson Jr.

GRAND FORKS, ND ( – A Grand Forks man, Jeffrey Jacob Simpson Jr., 30, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, June 19, to 12 felony charges, including four counts of attempted murder for allegedly firing a gun at law enforcement officers.

During Simpson’s preliminary hearing, the state presented testimonies from a Grand Forks police officer and a special agent from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations to establish probable cause. Simpson allegedly resisted arrest on March 22 when officers tried to apprehend him for domestic violence and related offenses.

Special Agent Scott Kraft testified that a SWAT threat matrix was used due to intel suggesting Simpson might “shoot it out” with police and his known possession of a handgun. Officers in unmarked vehicles blocked Simpson’s car, and when Simpson exited his vehicle, Officer Christopher Green fired a less-lethal round due to non-compliance.

Simpson allegedly responded by firing at the officers, but defense attorney David Ogren argued there was insufficient evidence for attempted murder, suggesting the shots might have been suppressive fire. Despite this, Judge Jay Knudson found probable cause for all charges, including Class A felony attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years per count.

Simpson’s final dispositional conference is scheduled for September 12.

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