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Teen is accused of deadly punch in St. Cloud alley

  • Star Tribune
  • September 25, 2012 - 11:10 PM

Steven Gleason said he still doesn't know what provoked the attack that killed his younger brother in a St. Cloud alley, even after sitting Tuesday in a Stearns County courtroom where a teenager was formally accused of killing Colton Gleason, 20.

A juvenile petition filed in Stearns County District Court alleges that 17-year-old Jesse J. Smithers punched Colton Gleason of Greenfield on Thursday, causing him to hit his head on the ground.

Smithers is accused of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault.

Smithers remains jailed while the county attorney's office seeks to have him certified to be prosecuted as an adult.

Police and family members say it does not appear that Gleason knew Smithers.

According to police and the petition, Smithers was riding in a vehicle driving through the alley where Gleason and two other people were walking.

Smithers got out, approached the three and punched Gleason in the head, causing him to fall. He died the next day at St. Cloud Hospital.

Gleason's family said he was visiting friends in St. Cloud and had planned to leave soon for a bike trip to northern Minnesota with his parents.

"He was an awesome kid, and this is just unfair that a good person goes down because there's bad people," said his brother, Steven.

Smithers' next court appearance is set for Oct. 2, with another scheduled for Oct. 30 to weigh whether he will be tried as an adult.

PAUL WALSH

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