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Staples man facing manslaughter charge appears in court

A hearing for a 31-year-old Staples man facing felony second-degree unintentional manslaughter was continued for another 60 days in Todd County District Court in Long Prairie.

A hearing for a 31-year-old Staples man facing felony second-degree unintentional manslaughter was continued for another 60 days in Todd County District Court in Long Prairie.

Tyler James Slagerman appeared in court Monday for the hearing. Slagerman was charged Feb. 27 with manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. He also was charged with gross misdemeanor child endangerment.

According to the complaint filed in court, the Todd County Sheriff's Office was called at 1:48 a.m. Feb. 25 to the 18000 block of 360th Street in Clarissa. Slagerman reported a gun had fallen off of a counter and discharged and hit a female.

A deputy observed a lever action rifle on the floor on the northeast corner of a room and a live rifle round was found in a room near the steps leading to the main part of the residence. The live round and the rifle were 5-feet apart. The weapon was a .30-30-caliber lever action rifle. The deputy entered the bedroom and observed Slagerman giving chest compressions to the female lying on the bed. His infant child was in a crib.

The deputy asked Slagerman where the victim was shot and he partially rolled her over and lifted up the back of her shirt. It appeared to be an entry wound into her upper right back. The female died at the scene. Slagerman was very upset, the complaint stated.

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In a Miranda rights statement, Slagerman stated he was out with friends earlier in the night and consumed four alcoholic drinks. He returned home around 12:30-12:45 a.m. and when he went inside, he heard the dogs barking and the baby started crying. The female was holding the child and sitting on the edge of the bed. Slagerman suspected there were coyotes in the yard, so he grabbed his .30-30-caliber rifle which was next to the dresser. He said he turned around fast with the rifle and headed toward the door and the gun went off striking the victim, the complaint stated. The child was not harmed. Slagerman stated he keeps the rifle loaded in the bedroom.

The defense attorney is Christopher Karpan, who requested a 60 days continuance, and the prosecuting attorney, Charles Rasmussen, agreed to the continuance.

Slagerman's next court appearance is scheduled at 1:15 p.m. July 24.

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