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Accused shooter stands mute in court

GRANITE FALLS — The Balaton man accused of shooting a man multiple times and leaving him alongside a roadway in Yellow Medicine County stood mute in a district court appearance Monday in Granite Falls.

Devin Donald Hexum, 21, is currently in the Yellow Medicine County Jail on charges of second-degree attempted murder with intent – not premeditated and first-degree assault. Bail is $1 million.

Defense attorney Greg Holmstrom with the public defender’s office told District Judge Thomas Van Hon that his client would stand mute to the charges, but asked that a settlement conference be scheduled in the case.

Hexum is charged with firing a handgun multiple times into the abdomen and chest area of Daniel Lee Scheff, 30, of Montevideo and taking his wallet.

Scheff remains hospitalized and faces a lengthy recovery from the July 18 incident.

Hexum’s silence in court on Monday is in contrast to his initial appearance on July 24. A court transcript indicates that he challenged the prosecution’s contention that he posed a danger and flight risk, and at one point, despite being advised by the judge he did not have to say anything, stated: “Other than that, a harm to society — I shot a man because I was scared.”

Daniel Scheff had been found bleeding profusely along Minnesota Highway 23 around 12:40 a.m. July 18. He was transported to the Granite Falls Hospital and subsequently airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. He later told authorities that two men he did not know had given him a ride in their pickup truck toward the Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort outside Granite Falls when they apparently experienced mechanical trouble and pulled over.

They were walking to a house where a relative of Scheff lives. Scheff told authorities that Hexum asked where the money was and pulled a handgun from his waistband, pointed it directly at Scheff and began shooting from about five feet away.

Police arrested Devin Hexum and his brother, Derek Hexum, 19, also of Balaton, on July 22 after a high-speed chase in Lyon County.

Derek Hexum faces a charge of aiding an offender to avoid arrest.

The brothers are scheduled to appear for settlement conferences in September.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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