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Old July 12, 2017, 09:22 AM   #1
g.willikers
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Minnesota man gets 90 days for killing possible burglar

We hear of very stiff sentences for killing an intruder, but in Minnesota,
a man gets sentenced to 90 days in jail by a judge who said the homeowner opened fire "out of fear and maybe some stupidity."
And he wasn't even inside the house when he did it.
Pause for thought, eh?
https://www.yahoo.com/news/minnesota...210000527.html
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Old July 12, 2017, 10:31 AM   #2
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I suspect the evidence showed that the victim was out to commit a crime and while the homeowner acted inappropriately the DA/Judge felt the victim was also responsible for his own death. It does concern me that the guy went outside and fired at a fleeing vehicle and I suspect he is very lucky things turned out the way they did.
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Old August 8, 2017, 06:23 PM   #3
dreaming
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Keep in mind this is the result of a plea bargain.
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Old August 8, 2017, 09:17 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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As mentioned, this was the result of a guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement. Nothing can be inferred about the merits of either the prosecution's case or a possible self defense claim.

Also, this is a conviction of a felony and therefore will result in a loss of gun rights.
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Old August 8, 2017, 09:20 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Frank, are you privy to more information than was in the article? All the article says he was convicted of was "dangerous discharge of a firearm." That doesn't sound like a felony-type charge,
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Old August 8, 2017, 09:41 PM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Frank, are you privy to more information than was in the article? All the article says he was convicted of was "dangerous discharge of a firearm." That doesn't sound like a felony-type charge....
  1. In the video it states that he was charged with manslaughter and pleaded guilty to dangerous discharge of a firearm. There's the plea deal.

  2. According to the article his full sentence included:
    Quote:
    ... a one-year prison sentence, which was stayed, two years' probation and 100 hours of community service,...
  3. Under Minnesota Statutes 609.66 there is essentially the misdemeanor of dangerous handling of a firearm (not involving firing the gun) for which the punishment is not more than a year in jail. There is also the felony crime of reckless discharge, including intentionally firing a gun, "...under circumstances that endanger the safety of another...." It looks like the later, the felony, best describes what Pettersen did.
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Old August 9, 2017, 10:25 AM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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So the two possible offenses are "dangerous handling" and "reckless discharge," but (according to the article) he pled guilty to "dangerous discharge" -- which is apparently not an offense under the law. So the details in the article may be wrong (SUPRISE!), and it seems we don't know enough to determine if he was convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
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Old August 9, 2017, 10:51 AM   #8
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
....So the details in the article may be wrong....
One more illustration of why we can't put too much faith in news articles when it comes to trying to understand the legal details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
....it seems we don't know enough to determine if he was convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.....
Except give the sentence (90 days in jail, plus a year in prison stayed, plus two years' probation, plus 100 hours of community service), and given that the gun was actually fired, and given that someone died as a result, it sure sounds like he must have been pleaded to and been convicted of felony "reckless discharge."
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Old August 9, 2017, 11:26 AM   #9
Evan Thomas
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According to this article from the local paper, Mr. Petterson pled guilty to a felony that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

"Noting that Pettersen is being convicted of a felony, Watonwan County Attorney Stephen Lindee said the plea deal was appropriate given the facts of the case."
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