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Published May 04, 2011, 08:02 AM

Detention extended for man tied to slain ND family

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Somali man with ties to a slain Minot family will be detained for an additional 90 days on an unrelated immigration charge, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Somali man with ties to a slain Minot family will be detained for an additional 90 days on an unrelated immigration charge, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday.

ICE officials said 26-year Omar Kalmio was arrested Feb. 1 in Minot for failing to abide by the terms of release stemming from a 2006 assault charge. Shawn Neudauer, an ICE spokesman in St. Paul, Minn., said immigration officials extended Kalmio's initial 90-day detention to 180 days on Tuesday.

Neudauer said Kalmio, who is being held in a Grand Forks jail, will have another mandatory review in 90 days.

Kalmio is the father of an infant girl found alive in the apartment where 19-year-old Sabrina Zephier was found dead Jan. 28. Zephier's mother, Jolene Zephier, 38, brother, Dillon Zephier, 13, and Jolene Zephier's boyfriend, Jeremy Longie, 22, were found slain in nearby mobile home less than an hour later.

Investigators have ruled out murder-suicide in the shooting deaths.

Minot Police Lt. Jason Sundbakken said Tuesday that Kalmio has been interviewed as a "person of interest" but no charges have been filed against anyone in the homicides.

"We have interviewed him a couple of times," Sundbakken said of Kalmio. "He is connected to the family so we are interested in speaking with him. But there are lots of people who are interesting to us in this case.

"We will not comment on who we're looking at," he said.

Kalmio returned a telephone call from The Associated Press last week from the Grand Forks jail. He said he had no attorney and hung up.

Authorities said he was still being held at the jail Tuesday. Neither ICE nor jail officials could confirm whether Kalmio had since hired an attorney.

Kalmio has two criminal convictions from 2006 in Minnesota. He was convicted of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony, and sentenced to one year and one day in prison, court records show. A criminal complaint in the case said Kalmio and a group of other Somali men attacked a man in Minneapolis in January 2006, and Kalmio stabbed him three times in the back with a knife. The victim also was stabbed in the face and shoulder and suffered a collapsed lung and concussion.

In the second case, Kalmio was convicted of theft and ordered to pay a fine. Court records show he lived in the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan when the crimes happened.

Kalmio had been ordered to report to immigration officials in Grand Forks last August but did not, ICE said.

The agency previously had issued a statement saying Kalmio was released from custody in May 2010 as a result of a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision that required a court review before immigrants convicted of certain crimes could be deported, a process that had been automatic before. The decision also said criminals with no country to accept them couldn't be jailed indefinitely.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991.

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