FARGO — The man accused of a
violent 30-minute rampage across the city of Fargo
appeared in court for the first time Friday.
Maichael Yousa, 28, appeared via interactive television Friday morning, July 22, which has been in place for years for various reasons including safety and efficiency.
However, during the hearing, Yousa demanded to be brought to the Cass County Courthouse for the hearing, which is only used to set bail.
The morning appearance was delayed several minutes so Yousa could watch a video of his courtroom rights, which are different than Miranda rights, even though the jail claimed he watched them Thursday.
“Do you understand those rights that were just played for you sir?” asked Judge Wade Webb.
“Yeah. Yeah, I need a lawyer though, because I don’t know what’s going on, why I am even in here,” replied Yousa.
Yousa then demanded to be taken to the courthouse.
“I just gotta see my lawyer,” said Yousa.
Five hours later, Yousa was physically in the courtroom.
“Do you understand your rights?” asked the judge to start the afternoon hearing.
“Not really, you can replay it,” Yousa responded.
Sitting next to Yousa in court was a lawyer from the law firm hired to represent him.
“Is there a public defender that can defend me or is this the one I get?” asked Yousa.
Yousa is facing 13 counts, including attempted murder for allegedly intentionally hitting 34-year-old motorcyclist Eric O’Meara from behind with his pickup.
Police say Yousa was seen on a private citizen’s dash cam driving 100 miles-per-hour on the shoulder of I-29 during rush hour traffic.
O’Meara is expected to make a full recovery.
Prosecutors say at this point, it appears O’Meara was a random target.
Youssa then allegedly went to his apartment by Essentia Hospital and fired off 30 shots all over that area from a handgun before speeding away and crashing.
According to police, a trooper then shot Yousa after he said Yousa started firing his gun again with traffic driving by.
The judge ordered Yousa held on $1 million cash only bail.
“It was nothing short of a miracle that Mr. O’Meara lived,” said Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Ryan Younggren.
Court records indicate Yousa’s lawyer will have him undergo a mental health evaluation at the state hospital.
Yousa’s family said they are still too emotional to speak on his behalf, other than he was a good kid growing up.
The law firm representing him offered this statement on behalf of the family.
“Their first concern was the state of Mr. O’Meara, and they are very thankful that he is improving and nothing worst happened to him or any of the other alleged victims.”
The only thing of note on Yousa’s criminal history is a DUI from last year.
Yousa is due back in court late next month.
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