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Guilty plea on table for Fargoan charged with killing wife in failed suicide pact

Fargo Police responded to the scene of a woman found dead and a man with a gunshot wound at 331 Prairiewood Circle South in Fargo on Saturday, June 2, 2018. David Samson / Forum News Service

FARGO—A guilty plea from Louis Donald Averson, who is accused of killing his wife on June 2 as part of a suicide pact, appears to be a strong possibility, according to court records.

The 85-year-old is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on a murder charge at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, but a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) has already started. Typically, a PSI is done after a defendant pleads guilty.

Court records show his attorneys and prosecutors requested an abbreviated PSI, and the court agreed June 21, ordering the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to complete the report within 21 days, which is July 12.

The murder charge Averson faces carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Averson and his wife, Ila Mae Lou Averson, both 85, allegedly left a will on their dining room table June 1 in their south Fargo apartment and went to their garage to run their car in a failed attempt to poison themselves with carbon monoxide, according to police. Both were in ill health.

Early on the morning of June 2, Louis Averson shot his wife in the chest with a .38-caliber revolver, killing her, and then shot himself in the chest, but survived, authorities said.

Tu-Uyen Tran
Tran is an enterprise reporter with the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began his newspaper career in 1999 as a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, now owned by Forum Communications. He began working for the Forum in September 2014. Tran grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington.
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