By Ryan Gueningsman
DHJ Managing Editor
McLEOD COUNTY, MN An indictment has been returned against McLeod County sheriff’s deputy Mark Eischens, following Eischens’ involvement in a shooting incident while executing a search warrant April 13.
A grand jury was convened to review the facts of the investigation and returned the indictment against Eischens.
It is reported Eischens is being charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, fifth-degree assault with intent to inflict bodily harm, use/possession of a deadly weapon, and intentional discharge of a firearm.
A pre-trial hearing is reportedly scheduled for Monday, Dec. 17 with a trial date being set for Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Eischens has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings, which is standard procedure for this type of situation, according to the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office.
Following the April incident, a criminal investigation was initiated, which is sheriff’s office policy.
The investigation was referred to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which turned its case over to the McLeod County Attorney’s Office.
McLeod County Attorney Michael Junge referred the case to part-time Sibley County Attorney David Schauer of the Schauer Law Office for review.
Additional information regarding the indictment was not available from Schauer as of press time.
As part of the emergency response team, Eischens was involved in executing a search warrant April 13 along with Hutchinson Police Services response team.
Upon making entry, a sheriff’s deputy discharged a weapon, according to the original press release from the incident.
Harry Lee Ondracek, 58, of rural Glencoe was taken into custody and transported by ambulance to Hutchinson Hospital for injuries sustained. Ondracek was treated and released from the hospital. Charges against him were pending for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Eischens has been employed with the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office since October 2001. His current assignment is as a patrol deputy, and there is no history of discipline in his personnel file, according to the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to his patrol duties, Eischens is also a field training officer, a defensive tactics/use-of-force instructor, firearms instructor, Taser instructor, and a member of the McLeod County Emergency Response Team.