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Man pleads guilty to killing grandmother

Nicholas Shutter has pleaded guilty to felony second-degree murder.

The plea was entered Monday in front of Beltrami County District Court Judge Paul Benshoof.

Shutter, now 18, killed his grandmother Marilyn Shutter on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 2005, when he was 15. She was shot with a deer rifle.

Nicholas Shutter's sentencing has been set for Feb. 17. The maximum penalty of felony second-degree murder is 40 years in prison.

Originally deemed unfit to stand trial, Nicholas Shutter was committed to a treatment facility in February 2006. He later was determined to be competent to stand trial, and the State of Minnesota petitioned to have Nicholas Shutter tried as an adult for second-degree murder. Theodore Shutter, Marilyn Shutter's husband and Nicholas Shutter's grandfather, testified against having Nicholas Shutter certified as an adult. The district court agreed with the state, citing clear-and-convincing evidence that public safety was best served by certifying him as an adult.

Beltrami County dispatch received the 911 call at about 9:40 p.m. Nov. 24, 2005, to report that Marilyn Shutter had been shot in the head with a deer rifle at their farm home on Van Buren Avenue Southeast. Beltrami County deputies arrived and found her on the living room couch with an apparent gunshot wound to her head.

Theodore Shutter was standing over Nicholas Shutter, who was lying on the floor in the entry of the house.

Marilyn Shutter was transported to North Country Regional Hospital, where she died.

A loaded Remington .243 caliber bolt-action deer rifle was found near the kitchen sink and is believed to be the weapon used in the shooting.

While officers were securing the scene, Nicholas Shutter several times said he was sorry for what he had done.

Nicholas Shutter had gone down to the basement to play on the computer after eating Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.

When he came upstairs, he went into his grandparents' bedroom, took the rifle, loaded it and waited for his grandparents to go into the living room and start watching television.

He entered the living room and shot his grandmother in the back of the head while she was watching television. Nicholas Shutter claimed that he had not intended to kill his grandmother, but rather he simply shot at the couch with intent to scare her into giving him the computer password so he could access Internet pornography."

Nicholas Shutter had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, impulse control disorder and specific learning disability. He was taking medication for these problems at the time of the shooting.

Marilyn and Theodore Shutter had adopted Nicholas Shutter when he was 18 months old.