Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 11, 2002

Berry gets 5 years in prison; other teen charged in connection with shooting

By Julie Yurek

Benjamin Berry, 16, of Lester Prairie, is going to prison for a probation violation.

Berry was sentenced Tuesday to 60 months in prison at McLeod County court. He was taken into custody and held at the McLeod County Jail until deputies could transport him.

The violation was due to Berry's unsuccessful completion of in-patient chemical dependency treatment, said McLeod County Attorney Amy Olson.

Berry was charged earlier this year with felon in possession of a firearm, second degree assault, and receiving stolen property in connection with the shooting of another Lester Prairie youth.

He was tried as an adult in that case because of the seriousness of the offense and his previous record, Olson said.

Travis Henry LaFountaine, 19, of Plato, was found guilty of providing Berry with a firearm in connection the shooting incident.

LaFountaine also pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property.

LaFountaine stole the gun from the Lester Prairie Police Department in February 2001, according to the criminal complaint.

The charge of providing a firearm to a minor was reduced to a gross misdemeanor. The sentence of one year in jail was stayed and LaFountaine was placed on probation.

For the stolen property charge, LaFountaine was placed on probation for two years. The conditions of his probation are to serve 45 days in the McLeod County Jail, perform 45 days of sentence to serve, and pay a fine of $440.


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