Howard Lake Herald, July 6, 1998

Murder charge results from hunting incident

A 13-year-old juvenile male told Wright County Sheriff's deputies that his 17-year-old hunting companion shot and killed Daniel Justin Rodgers in October of 1997 in Silver Creek Township, according to the Wright County Sheriff's office.

The 13-year-old said he and the defendant were duck hunting on Oct. 17, 1997 and were seated in a boat. Rodgers stood up, moved forward, and began to urinate in the lake.

The defendant flicked a cigarette butt at Rodgers and Rodgers turned around as if to urinate on the defendant. The defendant raised his gun and shot Rodgers in the abdomen.

The 13-year-old ran for help, and when he returned, the defendant put the shotgun to the younger boy's head and threatened to kill him if he did not agree to confirm the version of events which they originally told to the Sheriff's deputies.

Investigation of the physical evidence revealed that the statements of the two juveniles were not physically possible. When the 13-year-old was presented with the evidence showing that the statements made by the two boys were not possible, he made his revised statement to the officers.

Wright County Sheriff Don Hozempa said that the 17-year-old Dakota County resident has been charged with second degree murder, second degree assault, and felony tampering with a witness in connection with the shooting of Rodgers.

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