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Mahnonmen Co. deputy improving, condition 'guarded'

Mahnomen County Deputy Chris Dewey and his wife, Emily. Special to The Forum

FARGO, N.D. - Doctors have upgraded the condition of the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department deputy shot Wednesday.

Chris Dewey was listed in guarded condition Saturday, according to a news release from MeritCare Hospital.

He remains hospitalized in MeritCare's critical care unit.

Guarded condition is defined as having stable vital signs within normal limits and favorable indicators.

MeritCare critical care specialist Dr. Frank Sepe said that Dewey was moving his left side and consistently followed commands. He had been moving his right side all along.

Dewey was able to talk and, as of noon Saturday, was able to eat soft foods.

A journal entry posted on his Caring Bridge Web site at 8:47 a.m. Saturday said Dewey was sitting up on the edge of his bed, was alert, and knew what happened to him.

"Keep the prayers coming because miracles are amazing," the post also stated.

Later Saturday, another posting on the journal said Dewey was able to stand briefly and that he was able to recognize and talk with many visitors.

"We are experiencing never ending miracles," the posting said.

Dewey, 26, was shot twice Wednesday morning while investigating a report of gunshots.

Two men were later arrested. Thomas Lee Fairbanks and Daniel Kurt Vernier face a total of 39 charges. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday.

The Caring Bridge Web address is, and then enter "chrisdewey."