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Murder charge filed in Becker County shooting, bail set at $2 million

Ronald Quiceno

Charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder were filed against a Detroit Lakes man Tuesday in Becker County District Court.

Ronald Matthew Quiceno, 38, is accused of shooting Travis Dwayne Buckanaga, 23, of Detroit Lakes, "multiple" times in the torso during an argument early Saturday morning at a get-together at a mobile home park just north of Detroit Lakes.

Buckanaga died a short time later in the Detroit Lakes hospital. He leaves behind a young daughter.

Another man at the gathering, Barris Duane Guy, was shot in the lower neck, suffered non life-threatening injuries, and was treated at the Perham hospital.

Tuesday, District Judge Joe Evans appointed public defender Simon George of Detroit Lakes and set Quiceno's bail at $1 million cash or bond, with conditions that include surrendering his passport to authorities. Bail without conditions was set at $2 million.

According to court records, at about 1 a.m. deputies responded to reports of a shooting at a residence on Lot 9 at the Kountry Manor mobile home park. They found Buckanaga on the ground outside the residence, unresponsive and bleeding from the torso.

A half-dozen people had been at the get-together. They included Bradley Bloom, Allan Bloom, Kasey Burk, Corine Cochran and Houston Moorman.

One witness said Quiceno and Buckanaga had been arguing, and Buckanaga punched him in the jaw.

Quiceno left briefly, and when he returned the two again exchanged words.

One witness said Quiceno reached behind his back and pulled out what appeared to be a .22 caliber revolver and pointed it at Buckanaga, then shot him six to eight times in the torso at a distance of less than 10 feet.

One of the bullets hit Barris Duane Guy, 26, of Detroit Lakes in the lower neck.

Four other witnesses told officers that Quiceno did the shooting.

Quiceno left the scene and was arrested at his home. He admitted only that he had been at the residence and had argued with Buckanga, who had punched him.

In an interview, George said he just got the case and doesn't know yet how Quiceno will plead. He warned against a rush to judgment, saying the investigation is ongoing and information is still being gathered.

"It would be best for everyone if we reserve judgment," he said.

During arguments over the amount of bail on Tuesday, George noted that Quiceno has a wife, five children and other family ties in the area. He asked that bail be set at $100,000.

"He has a criminal history," George said, "but he has not been in trouble for many years. He can't even make $100,000, but he is entitled to a reasonable bail."

Becker County Attorney Mike Fritz pointed out that Quiceno was convicted of felony theft in 2006, felony carrying a concealed weapon in 2004, and felony carjacking in 1996 in California. He has had several parole violations and several active arrest warrants.

He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison on the murder charge and 20 years on the attempted murder charge, and a minimum sentence of 25 years under state sentencing guidelines, Fritz said. He asked that bail be set at $2 million without conditions, $1 million with conditions.

About 25 people -- most of them family and friends of the victim --attended the hearing Tuesday, and emotions ran high.

Towards the end of the hearing, the court proceedings were interrupted by a distraught woman among the Buckanga group.

"Bastard!" she said loudly, sobbing.

"You have no idea what you've done to this family," another woman told Quiceno, also breaking into tears.

That caused Evans to speak up. "Hold on folks, I'm going to have to ask everyone to remain silent," he said. The proceedings ended shortly thereafter.

Quiceno's next court appearance is set for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 11.