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Manslaughter charges filed in Renville County death

OLIVIA—Nearly two months after the body of 59-year-old Randy Oletzke was found in a farmyard in rural Franklin, criminal charges have been formally filed against the man who allegedly fatally ran him over.

Russel Allen Doucette, 37, of Franklin made a first appearance Monday in Renville County District Court. He is charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of criminal vehicular homicide. All three charges are felonies.

The criminal complaint describes a sequence of events that began the evening of July 27 at a farm site southeast of Franklin where Doucette and Oletzke both reportedly lived. Sometime between dusk and midnight, Doucette got behind the wheel of his truck to drive out of the farmyard. Oletzke allegedly tried to stop him, according to court documents.

The complaint describes what Doucette told authorities about what happened next: "Oletzke was standing in front of the truck. [Doucette] drove one way and then quickly back the other and he then felt the truck fishtail and lose traction."

Despite later telling law enforcement officials that he was "pretty sure he ran over Oletzke," Doucette sped away from the farm and went to a friend's place, where he allegedly consumed several drinks.

At about 9:14 p.m. the next day, some 24 hours after the incident, Doucette called the Renville County Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrived at the farm site to find Oletzke's body.

An autopsy determined he had sustained severe head injuries and a broken right femur consistent with being hit by a vehicle. Evidence at the scene also suggested the body may have been moved and placed with the victim's head lying within previous tire tracks from a mobile home.

Doucette's next appearance in court is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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