Alleged accomplice in shooting waives hearing, seeks speedy trial
MONTEVIDEO -- Derek Hexum, 19, of Balaton, on Wednesday waived his right to challenge whether there is probable cause for a felony charge of aiding an offender to avoid arrest and instead asked for a speedy trial in the case stemming from a shoot...
MONTEVIDEO - Derek Hexum, 19, of Balaton, on Wednesday waived his right to challenge whether there is probable cause for a felony charge of aiding an offender to avoid arrest and instead asked for a speedy trial in the case stemming from a shooting outside Granite Falls.
The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
It is the lone charge he faces in the Yellow Medicine County shooting incident in which a man was found lying alongside a rural roadway around 12:41 a.m. July 18 south of Granite Falls. Authorities believe that the victim, Daniel Scheff, 30, would have bled to death from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen if he had not been discovered only moments after the shooting by a passerby.
Derek Hexum’s brother, Devin, 21, of Balaton, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, and first-degree assault as the alleged triggerman in the incident.
Derek Hexum is accused of driving the pickup truck that he and his brother are alleged to have used when they encountered Scheff in downtown Granite Falls and offered him a ride to the Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort outside Granite Falls. The complaint alleges that they placed Scheff’s bicycle in the back of the pickup and drove toward the casino.
The pickup had mechanical difficulties and the trio pulled over, Scheff later told authorities. Scheff and Devin Hexum started to walk to get help at the home of one of Scheff’s relatives. When they left a paved road for a gravel road, Devin Hexum asked Scheff “where his money was.’’
The complaint alleges that at this point, the pickup driven by Derek had become operational again. It pulled up to the two, and Devin Hexum pulled a handgun from his waistband. He pointed it directly at Scheff from five feet and began firing, according to the allegations in the criminal complaint.
The victim fell to the ground, and Devin Hexum got into the pickup truck and the brothers sped away, the complaint states.
Four days later, authorities spotted the pickup truck in Lyon County and gave chase. The 45-minute chase ended when a Minnesota State Patrol trooper used a maneuver to stop the pickup about one-half mile from the South Dakota border in Lincoln County.
The pickup rolled over as a result of the maneuver.
By waiving his right to challenge the probable cause for the charge, Derek Hexum also gives up his right to challenge the admissibility of evidence seized in connection with the case, District Judge Thomas Van Hon told the defendant during Wednesday’s court appearance, which was conducted in neighboring Chippewa County in Montevideo. Hexum nodded that he understood, and told the court: “I’d like the matter scheduled for trial, your honor.’’
His attorney, Benjamin Pieh, said his client is seeking a speedy trial.
Both brothers remain in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls. Bail remains at $100,000 for Derek Hexum and $1 million for Devin Hexum. The brothers could be called to testify against each other if both cases proceed to trials. A hearing on probable cause has not yet been held in Devin Hexum’s case.