A man who testified against his accomplice in a fatal beating outside a western Minnesota bar has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for his role in the killing of an off-duty firefighter.
Troy N. Traut, 35, of Pine River, Minn., was sentenced Monday in Douglas County District Court after having pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of fifth-degree assault in connection with the death of Steven Hlinsky, 46, on May 5, 2018, during what appears to have been a dispute over a romantic relationship.
The sentence from Judge Antoinette Wetzel gave the Sheriff's Office the option to allow Traut to serve his time on work release. The judge also ordered Traut to share in making restitution of more than $57,000 to the Hlinsky family.
Dismissed earlier against Traut were far more serious murder and manslaughter charges in exchange for him testifying during the trial of 36-year-old Jacob E. Larson of Kensington, Minn., who was convicted in a jury trial in January of manslaughter. He was acquitted on the two most serious charges, second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Larson was given a 7½-year term at sentencing. With credit for seven months in jail after his arrest, he will serve about 4⅔ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Hlinsky, of Forada, Minn., a fifth-generation grain farmer and an assistant chief of the town's Fire and Rescue unit, suffered bleeding on the brain, broken facial and skull bones and a detached retina.
According to the charges, Traut approached Hlinsky, grabbed a beer bottle and tossed it against a wall in the Muddy Boot bar. As Hlinsky led Larson to the door, Traut pulled Hlinsky by one arm out the door as Larson had him in a headlock.
Traut acknowledged suspicions about a romantic relationship he believed Hlinsky was having and argued with Hlinsky in the bar, charges said.