Sheriff: Man killed in Casselton shooting broke into woman’s home, violated protection order

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 3:47 PM CDT
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CASSELTON, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A fatal Casselton shooting is still under investigation, but the Cass County Sheriff’s Office says the shots came after a man broke into a woman’s home.

The fatal shooting happened just before 2 a.m. Monday morning at a home connected to Club 94, a Bar and Grill located at 15568 37th St. SE.

Sheriff Jesse Jahner says dispatchers received a call from 54-year-old Edwin Charles Kester Jr. who stated that he had just shot someone. Jahner says one of his deputies was just across the parking lot when the call came in and arrived on scene almost immediately. The officer put Kester in handcuffs for the officer’s safety before going inside the home.

Once inside the home, Jahner says the deputy found a female, who will not be named, and 58-year-old Randell Ray Burton lying on ground with gunshot wounds. It’s unclear how many times Burton was shot, but Sheriff Jahner says Burton was killed by a .38 revolver. Burton was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Jahner says prior to Monday morning’s incident, deputies were called to Club 94 on Oct. 14 for a disturbance involving both the female and Burton. Burton was arrested for domestic violence and terrorizing the female. On Oct. 15, Jahner says Burton appeared in court for both charges, plead not guilty and was ordered not to see the female

Burton was released from the Cass County Jail on Oct. 17 on a 10 percent bond of $10,000.

Sheriff Jahner states the female told her friends that she was afraid that Burton would come to her home at some point and harm her. Because of this, the woman stated she had changed her locks prior to the Monday morning incident and was trying to stay occupied with friends. On Sunday night, the woman told investigators she had friends over to the bar and her home. She stated that Mr. Kester volunteered to stay at her home with her to make sure she felt safe and could get some sleep.

Shortly before 1:56 a.m. Monday morning, officials say Burton forced his way into the females home through two locked doors and immediately headed toward woman’s bedroom. Kester told investigators that’s when he shot Burton. Neither Kester or the woman were injured. Detectives say Burton was found with a folding pocket knife on him.

“We all recognize that an order prohibiting contact is a piece of paper, it’s not a fence. That said, they are often effective tools, but not always effective tools,” Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said. “We have lots of orders prohibiting contact that come out of our court. This is something that almost never happens, but it does not mean that it cannot happen.”

Sheriff Jahner says up to this point, investigators have not been able to locate any next of kin of Burton and ask any friends or family members to reach out to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Jahner says the act of self-defense and/or Kester’s act of defending the woman is still under investigation and it’s unclear if charges could be possible at this time. Kester was never formally arrested, but was released from custody Monday afternoon. Jahner emphasized there is no threat to the public at this time.

Monday night’s shooting is the second self-defense related shooting in Casselton in less than a year and a half.

The first happened in May 2020 when 50-year-old Duane Turchin was shot and killed in the Harness Mobile Home Court by a neighbor. A man was arrested and charged for murder, but after a review of the evidence, the Cass County State’s Attorney office decided against prosecuting the shooter and he was released from custody three days later.

When asked if there are safety concerns in Casselton, Sheriff Jahner stated data showed violent crime had gone down in the town significantly since a spike in 2019. Jahner says Casselton contracts officers from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the city, and states deputies spend a number of hours in and around the city.

“I truly believe Casselton is a very safe city to live in and there aren’t any extra concerns there,” Jahner said.

Jahner also emphasized both incidents were not random acts of violence, as both involved people known to one another.

The sheriff also said he understands some people may need to defend themselves when and if there is not enough time to call law enforcement, but urged the importance in calling for help.

“Certainly we don’t want anyone to get hurt,” he said.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. Anyone in need of assistance can also text START to 88788.

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