Jurors convicted a southern Minnesota man of murder for fatally shooting in the head a man sitting in a car in a state park last summer.
David M. Easter, 27, of Brownsdale, was found guilty last week in Freeborn County District Court of second-degree murder in the killing of Spencer D. Brown, 23, on Aug. 23 at Myre-Big Island State Park near Albert Lea.
Nearby at the time of the gunshots were Easter’s wife and the couple’s infant daughter. Easter is a former Minnesota National Guard private and his wife, Karla, was in the Guard and based in Faribault.
Karla Easter told a deputy at the scene that her husband confronted the victim, who lived in a rural part of the county and frequently visited the park, and the two men exchanged words. She said she heard the victim tell David Easter to quit shining a light on him. She heard the gunshots and saw the man in the car was wounded.
David Easter called 911 after the shooting, surrendered peacefully when officers arrived and turned over a .45-caliber pistol. The weapon recovered was not a military-issued firearm.
The complaint noted that David Easter has a valid gun permit from Nebraska. However, Minnesota does not have a permit-to-carry reciprocity agreement with Nebraska. David Easter told authorities that the victim had come at him with a baseball bat.
The jurors also convicted Easter of carrying a firearm without a valid permit, a gross misdemeanor. Easter’s sentencing is scheduled for June 30.