A man charged with pulling a gun during a dispute in Montana where Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt was present was found guilty of felony assault last month.
Daniel Benjamin Weinzetl, 25, of Cambridge, pleaded no contest to assault with a weapon in Park County District Court Nov. 17. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed additional felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal endangerment. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
Weinzetl was charged in connection with a Sept. 7, 2013 incident after he and Daudt, R-Crown, traveled to Livingston, Mont. to buy a vintage Ford Bronco. Daudt, who was the House Minority Leader at the time, got into an argument with the seller that escalated, according to court records. While Daudt and the seller argued, Weinzetl pulled Daudt’s black handgun from the car and allegedly pointed it at the seller’s "entire family, including the children," documents said. Daudt was not charged in the incident.
The charges came to light in January after a report aired on KSTP-TV. Daudt acknowledged he was present during the incident but said he made every effort to defuse the situation. Daudt said earlier this year that he didn't tell the House Republican caucus about the incident because he wasn't charged with anything.
Daudt, 41, was elected Speaker of the House last month after Republicans regained control of the Minnesota House.
Weinzetl, a construction worker, was found guilty in 2010 of assaulting a police officer and obstructing the legal process after a March 2010 incident in which he punched a man outside his home. When an Isanti County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house, Weinzetl shoved and punched the deputy, breaking his glasses and tearing his uniform, according to records.