DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Bail was set at $500,000 for a Detroit Lakes man charged in the June 9 shooting death of a White Earth man at a graduation party near Strawberry Lake.
Ronald Wayne Elias Thompson III, 18, was charged in Becker County District Court with two felony counts of second-degree murder and a felony charge of possessing a gun after being convicted of a crime of violence.
He is accused in the death of Jamie Lee Bevins Jr., 27, of White Earth.
According to court records, multiple witnesses allegedly identified Thompson as the shooter. He fled the scene and was arrested June 21 in St. Cloud, with a 9 mm pistol next to him at the time of his arrest. He was jailed on an outstanding warrant.
On July 4, Thompson asked to speak to an investigator "about June 9," according to court records.
He said he went to the party with a juvenile male and got into a physical fight at the party after sticking up for the younger boy.
Thompson said he was "jumped" at the party and, after the fight, he saw his younger companion holding a Glock handgun. He said he grabbed the handgun away from the younger boy because he “didn’t want anybody to get shot.”
He said he was trying to leave the party when he heard Bevins tell people not to let him and the younger boy leave. Thompson fired two shots in the air, according to court records, and everybody ran from the house, except Bevins, who “put his hands in the air,” because Thompson was aiming the Glock at him.
According to court records, Thompson admitted shooting Bevins during a struggle, but said he was being choked by Bevins at the time. When he turned around he recognized Bevins as the person he had shot, he said.
Thompson, who admitted he is a member of the Native Mob criminal gang, said he fired three shots at the party and did not hear any other gunshots.
A female witness said Bevins was standing 5 to 7 feet away from Thompson when Thompson shot him.
Thompson admitted aiming the gun around after the shooting because he thought “more people would be coming,” according to court records.
In an earlier Forum News Service story, family members said Bevins was the party’s DJ and was sticking up for a younger brother who had gotten into a fight with Thompson.
On Sept. 6, 2016, Thompson was adjudicated delinquent on felony charges of making terroristic threats and first-degree burglary, both crimes of violence, and he is not permitted to possess guns or ammunition for life.
On Monday, Aug. 12, District Judge Jay Carlson set bail or bond at $500,000, with standard conditions of release, or $1 million without conditions. A public defender was appointed.
Thompson’s next court hearing is Aug. 19.