Minnesota homeowner reaches plea agreement in teenage prowler's fatal shooting

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MADELIA, Minn. --- A southern Minnesota homeowner who fatally shot a would-be teenage burglar last winter has reached a plea agreement involving lesser charges.

According to the Free Press of Mankato, David Pettersen, 65, of rural Madelia pleaded guilty Tuesday to dangerous discharge of a firearm, a felony, in the death of Nicolas Embertson, 19, of Madelia.

As part of the plea agreement, manslaughter charges against Pettersen were dismissed.

Pettersen will be sentenced July 11 by Watonwan County District Judge Gregory Anderson. According to the Free Press, the maximum sentence allowed by state law is two years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Embertson and two friends were “casing” Pettersen’s home around 7 a.m. Jan. 28.

Pettersen said he awoke to find a man on his deck. Armed with a handgun, he went outside and encountered the three trespassers driving toward him in a car. Pettersen shot at the car, fatally wounding Embertson.

The Free Press reported that Embertson’s parents objected to the plea agreement but that Watonwan County Attorney Stephen Lee said it was an appropriate resolution to the case.

Meanwhile, one of Embertson’s friends, 19-year-old Cornelius Ayers Jr. of Mankato, also reached a plea agreement convicting him of felony conspiracy to commit burglary. He will be sentenced June 13. The case of the second friend, Kyle Nason, 19, of Sleepy Eye, is still pending.