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Man faces five felonies for pointing gun at deputies

WILLMAR -- An Atwater man is facing multiple felonies stemming in part from a stand-off with authorities Monday evening.

James Arthur Hinman, 46, of Atwater, made his first appearance Wednesday on five felony charges for allegedly assaulting a woman with a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and for pointing the gun at sheriff's deputies before exiting a home wearing a bullet-resistant vest.

Hinman was then taken in custody.

Unconditional bail was set at $70,000. Conditional bail was allowed for $5,000 cash. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is June 14.

The charges against Hinman include using deadly force against a peace officer or correctional employee, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine, and felonies for second-degree assault, domestic assault by strangulation, wearing a bullet-resistant vest during the commission of a crime and terroristic threats.

He also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of domestic assault, with a prior conviction in July 2000.

According to the complaint, Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic incident involving a firearm around 7:25 p.m. Monday along U.S. Highway 12 in rural Atwater.

A citizen reported that he had observed a man and a woman wrestling over a shotgun in the garage of a home and that the shotgun had discharged at least twice while they were fighting over the weapon.

When officers arrived, the woman said Hinman was inside the home and had several loaded weapons. She was escorted safely away from the scene.

The woman said that Hinman was angry and upset as he had been laid off from his work and that a vehicle had been repossessed. She said he had an argument with another person, assaulted that person and then began loading a shotgun and shooting it in the air.

She said she asked him to give her the gun, to which he refused and said, "Nope, I'm going to die." He allegedly pointed the gun at her multiple times and at himself, slapped her, threatened her life and choked her.

She advised officers that he'd thrown the gun into some pine trees in the yard and that he had other guns in the home.

The deputies set up a perimeter around the home and attempted to contact Hinman with a public address system. A deputy saw Hinman level off the barrel of a shotgun and point it at the deputies, who then moved farther away from the home.

A short time later, Hinman came out into the garage of the home, wearing a military-style, bullet-resistant vest, but not in possession of a weapon. The officers were able to circle around him and take him into custody. The vest was loaded with shotgun shells that had not been fired.

Deputies searched the home and the yard and located a loaded 12-gauge shotgun under the tree, three spent shotgun shells and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in the garage and a loaded 12-gauge in the home near the front door.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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