DULUTH — A 44-year-old man was highly intoxicated when he shot and killed his friend at a rural residence north of Cloquet this weekend, according to charges filed Thursday, but the motive remains unclear.
Thomas Allen Micklewright was charged with second-degree murder in the Saturday morning shooting death of 65-year-old James Arthur Couture at Micklewright’s home on Brevator Road inside the Fond du Lac Reservation in St. Louis County.
According to the charges:
Micklewright and his wife were hosting Couture and his wife and each couple had been drinking throughout the night. Micklewright’s wife called 911 about 5 a.m. after the shooting and he “admitted during the call that he intentionally shot the victim with a .40 caliber pistol,” and he “would not articulate the reason why he shot the victim.”
Police found Couture dead on arrival and did not find weapons on or around him.
Micklewright had a 0.20 blood alcohol concentration — more than twice the legal limit to drive — when it was measured six hours after the 911 call, indicating it was far higher when Micklewright was arrested “without incident.”
No other details were immediately available.
Micklewright was being held at the St. Louis County Jail on $125,000 bail on Thursday. He next goes before a judge on Dec. 3.