Kyle Alan Dague, 23, who shot a friend while the two were playing with his 9-millimeter gun last New Year's Eve in Burnsville, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Tuesday and is likely to serve about four years in prison.
Justin James Schauer, 22, of Savage, died at Dague's apartment. Dague told investigators that they were playing a game in which they would eject a bullet from the gun and try to catch it. He originally told police that when he wasn't looking, he heard the gun go off and saw that Schauer had shot himself.
An autopsy found that Schauer died from a gunshot directly to his forehead. Experts determined that the shot was fired from less than a foot away, authorities said. Dague's DNA was found on the gun, Schauer's was not.
Witnesses told police that they had seen Dague playing the same game with the same weapon "on multiple occasions" and that he had pointed the unloaded gun at others and fired it, authorities said.
Dague was indicted by a grand jury in July on charges of second-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm, both felonies. He pleaded guilty in Dakota County District Court to second-degree manslaughter and will be sentenced Nov. 30. State guidelines as of 2011, when the crime was committed, call for a sentence of about four years.