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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Crime Series week three: Protecting your own life and kin

When a life is on the line, there are no easy decisions, and no simple options.

Even when the person feels he or she is using the best possible tool for self-defense, things can go terribly sideways.

Cottonwood County Attorney Nick Anderson offered two recent cases as examples of self-defense gone wrong.

Two examples

In 2017, 65-year-old farmer David Pettersen fatally shot 19-year-old Nicolas Embertson of Madelia on Jan. 28 when he fired at a vehicle that was fleeing from his home. Two others in the car were sentenced on burglary counts. Pettersen said in court that he takes no satisfaction from Embertson’s death and will carry that “awful responsibility” for the rest of his life. This was a case where a person decided to use deadly force and was not intending to kill, but the decision to use a gun to protect property came with deep regrets.

Cottonwood County Sherriff Jason Purrington was well aware of this case and advised that a citizen never shoot at a fleeing vehicle.

For more on this story, please see the March 27 edition of the Citizen.

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