HOWARD LAKE, MN Julian Deuce Hill, of Howard Lake recently plead guilty to a drive-by shooting in Benton County, according to Benton County Attorney Philip Miller.
Hill was initially charged with assault in the first degree, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a $30,000 fine; drive-by shooting, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a $20,000 fine; assault in the second degree, a felony, punishable by 10 years in prison, and a $20,000 fine; and reckless discharge of a firearm, a felony, punishable by two years in prison, and a $5,000 fine.
In court, Benton County Assistant Attorney Karl Schmidt argued for a guidelines sentence of 48 months.
Judge Michael Jesse imposed the guidelines sentence, with jail credit of 237 days against that sentence.
As part of the agreement, Hill also pled guilty to the misdemeanor DWI in Meeker County.
According to a formal complaint, a witness told county investigators that Hill confessed he was involved in an April 23, 2019, drive-by shooting in St. Cloud, and had discharged a weapon toward another individual.
The complaint indicated that St. Cloud Police Dispatch Center began receiving telephone calls from individuals who heard a gunshot, with people running away and car tires squealing, at approximately 9:24 p.m. April 23.
When officers arrived in an alley in the 400 block of Wilson Ave. NE in St. Cloud, they found a pool of blood, along with a 9mm Taurus handgun, and two plastic bags, which contained what appeared to be a controlled substance.
The handgun did not have a shell in the gun, but there were numerous shells in the magazine for the gun. The substance in the plastic bags subsequently field-tested positive for cocaine, with a total weight of approximately 32.2 grams.
A short distance from that location, officers found a spent bullet with hair on it.
A male who had sustained a gunshot wound to the head was found a few blocks away.
When interviewed by St. Cloud investigators, Hill acknowledged that arrangements were made in which he was going to meet with individuals for a drug exchange.
Hill stated he brought marijuana and marijuana cigars covered in marijuana resin to the exchange, which he intended to trade for cocaine.
Hill said the two males he met with stated they only dealt in cash deals. Hill said he gave the males $360 cash, and was reaching into his pocket for more, when he realized the two males were getting out of the vehicle they were meeting in, and leaving with his money and his marijuana.
Hill said he was under the influence of Xanax, and that he got mad when he realized he was being ripped off.
Hill said he pulled a small .380 caliber handgun from his pants, raised it with both hands, and fired one round at a dark shadow he saw running away. He believed the male was 30 yards away when he was shot.
Hill said he then got in his car and drove away with his passenger.
Hill was arrested in Meeker County April 24 for a DWI, and at that time was found in possession of the handgun that he had used to shoot in the alley the night before.