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Minnesota man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A 59-year-old Minnesota man who is accused of shooting a convenience store worker with a rifle has pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree, assault resulting in bodily harm in the first degree and assault with a deadly weapon in the second degree. The charges stem from an incident that took place in a Renville County gas station and convenience store on the morning of Jan. 11.

According to media reports, the man entered the convenience store at about 8:00 a.m. and brandished a rifle. Prosecutors have not speculated about the possible motive for the alleged attack. A male employee suffered a gunshot wound to his hand and neck when he allegedly tried to wrestle the rifle from the man's grasp. While the wound is said to have seriously damaged the worker's hand, it did not prevent him from taking control of the rifle and using it to subdue the man. During the scuffle, the rifle's magazine was released revealing that it contained 11 live rounds.

The Renville County Sheriff's Office dispatched deputies to the scene on East Lincoln Avenue in Fairfax to take the man into custody, and a helicopter was summoned to transport the injured worker to a hospital in Robbinsdale. Doctors later determined that the bullet had lodged at the base of the worker's skull and removing it surgically was not possible.

When presented with facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may suspect that the individual involved suffers from some form of mental illness. If this proves to be the case, attorneys could mount the affirmative defense of not guilty due to mental defect to attempted homicide charges.

Source: The Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota man pleads not guilty to attempted murder in gas station shooting, Forum News Service report, April 9, 2019Source: The New Ulm Journal, Hector man shot, Fairfax man in custody, Fritz Busch, Jan. 12, 2019

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