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Doctors upgrade condition of Mahnomen deputy to guarded

Doctors have upgraded the condition of the Mahnomen County (Minn.) Sheriff's Department deputy shot on Wednesday.

Chris Dewey is now in guarded condition, according to a news release from MeritCare Hospital of Fargo. He remains hospitalized in MeritCare's critical care unit.

Guarded condition is defined as having stable vital signs within normal limits and favorable indicators.

MeritCare critical care specialist Dr. Frank Sepe said Dewey is now moving his left side and is consistently following commands. He had been moving his right side all along.

Dewey is able to talk and as of noon today, has been able to eat soft foods.

A journal entry posted on his Caring Bridge Web site at 8:47 a.m. today said Dewey was sitting up on the edge of his bed, is alert, and knows what happened to him.

"Keep the prayers coming because miracles are amazing," the post also stated.

Dewey, 26, was shot twice Wednesday morning while investigating a report of gunshots in Mahnomen, Minn.

Two men were later arrested. Thomas Lee Fairbanks and Daniel Kurt Vernier face a total of 39 charges. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday.

The CaringBridge Web site at provides journal entries about Dewey's progress and a forum for guests to offer comments. Go to the site and enter "chrisdewey."