A father and son, part of a group of target shooters whose stray bullet seriously wounded a passing motorcyclist, have pleaded guilty to reckless use of a weapon.
Blake A. Martin, 29, of Duluth and William A. Martin, 58, of Victoria each pleaded guilty Friday in Carver County District Court to reckless handling or use of a dangerous weapon, a misdemeanor, in connection with the shooting in June 2019 of 43-year-old Troy Mack of Minneapolis.
A felony count of intentional discharge of a dangerous weapon that endangers public safety was dismissed against the Martins.
Mack was hit in the chest as he rode south on County Road 40 in San Francisco Township, southwest of Carver.
Authorities determined that the shot came from Blake Martin's handgun at least a quarter-mile away, while the group was shooting behind his home in the 16300 block of Homestead Road.
In October, co-defendants Jasmine S. Morrow, 24, and Ian A. Stinson, 22, both of Oak Ridge, Tenn., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless use of a firearm in connection with the same incident. They initially were charged with the same felony count as the Martins.
Each of the Martins was sentenced Friday by Judge Eric Braaten to two years of probation and ordered to do 20 days of community service.
Terms of the probation include no possession or use of guns and completion of a firearms safety course. They also must pay $790 in fines and fees and write a letter of apology to Mack.
The shot that struck Mack as he rode with other motorcyclists caused "significant injury" to an artery that supplies blood to his right arm and fractured his right shoulder blade, County Attorney Mark Metz said at the time. "He could have died," Metz said.
Morrow and Stinson were put on a year of supervised probation by Judge Michael Wentzell, whose terms included not using firearms during that time and completion of a weapons training course. Wentzell also ordered both to do five days of community service and write letters of apology.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482