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Dalton man sentenced in Otter Tail County shooting incident

In May, Derrick Sundeen pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree DWI. The remaining four counts against him were dismissed on Friday, when he was sentenced to serve 180 days in jail.

Sundeen.jpg
Derrick Sundeen.
Otter Tail County Jail photo
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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — A man who had faced a charge of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer was sentenced on lesser charges in Otter Tail County District Court on Friday, June 24.

Derrick Sundeen, 39, of Dalton, originally faced six charges after a September shooting incident, including the attempted murder charge.

In May, Sundeen pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree DWI. The remaining four counts against him were dismissed on Friday, when he was sentenced to serve 180 days in jail.

Judge Sharon Grewell Benson ordered that Sundeen's 180-day sentence is to be staggered over several years, so that over time it will be possible for Sundeen to vacate a total of 120 days of his sentence if he remains successful with his probation program, which is designed to help him deal with mental health and chemical dependency challenges.

In addition, Judge Benson stayed 36 months of prison time for seven years, during which time Sundeen will be on supervised probation.

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The charges stemmed from an incident on Sept. 3, 2021, when a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officer responded to a report of a rollover in rural Otter Tail County, according to a criminal complaint.

The officer arrived to find a man in an overturned pickup truck who appeared to have a handgun pointed at his own head, the complaint said.

The officer ordered the man, later determined to be Sundeen, to put the gun down, and as the officer ran for cover, he heard the sound of a shot being fired, the complaint said.

A standoff with law enforcement ensued, during which several shots were fired from within the overturned pickup, according to court documents, which state the incident ended when officers used less-than-lethal shotguns to take Sundeen into custody.

After Sundeen was arrested, a number of guns were recovered from the vehicle, according to court documents.

Sundeen's guilty pleas were made in the form of Norgaard pleas, meaning he maintained he does not remember the incident, but acknowledges the evidence was sufficient for a jury to find him guilty if he stood trial on the charges.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

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