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Case to serve 415 months for campsite killing

OLIVIA--Dwayne Alan Case, 30, might have saved the life of Elizabeth Gregg, 46, had he gotten immediate medical help for her after firing a broadhead tipped arrow into her abdomen at a remote campsite in Renville County on June 12, 2015.

OLIVIA-Dwayne Alan Case, 30, might have saved the life of Elizabeth Gregg, 46, had he gotten immediate medical help for her after firing a broadhead tipped arrow into her abdomen at a remote campsite in Renville County on June 12, 2015.

Case, of Franklin, will now serve a 415 months sentence for her death, the maximum possible for his conviction on a charge of second degree murder, intentional.

District Judge Randall Slieter imposed the maximum sentence of nearly 34-1/2 years after hearing testimony Tuesday in district court in Olivia from the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the woman who had been Case's girlfriend. Sentencing guidelines allowed a range of 295 months to 415 months for the conviction in this case.

The sentence requires that Case serve a minimum of two-thirds of the time in prison, and the remainder under supervised release. He was given credit for 187 days served.

Dr. Angelique Strobl, with the Midwest Medical Examiner's office, testified that the arrow fired through a jacket and shirt into Gregg's mid-section had not struck any arteries, but had perforated her stomach and liver. "It's certainly possible'' that she could have survived had she gotten immediate medical attention, Stroble testified in response to questioning by prosecutor Robert Plesha with the Minnesota Attorney General's office.

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The wound she had suffered would not have caused rapid loss of blood. "She could have lived for many minutes, possible hours,'' said Stroble on the stand. Gregg died a painful death, in the opinion of the pathologist.

Authorities believe that Case used a compound bow to fire the arrow into Gregg as she sat in the passenger seat of a truck. Her body was found in a tent at the campsite where Case had attempted suicide by firing a rifle under his jaw.

The prosecutor told the court that Gregg had made a fatal mistake on the day of her death by agreeing to accompany Case to the remote campsite near the Minnesota River. There was apparently no cell service and no one to hear any pleas for help, leaving her fate entirely in Case's hands. There was a court order prohibiting contact between the two at the time, but authorities believe they had continued to see each other.

The loss of her mother has left a "resounding emptiness that will haunt me the rest of my life,'' Devin Larsen told the court before the sentence was imposed. Larsen is one of five children of the victim.

The victim's sister, Pam Halverson told the court that Gregg was the youngest of five children growing up on the Lower Sioux Agency. Life was hard and challenging for the family, Halvorsen said. They lost their mother while they were young, and faced racism and poverty.

Speaking in both Dakota and English, Halverson said her sister was one of five Native American women to die of domestic abuse in Minnesota during the past year. One in three native women are the victims of abuse in their lives.

"Minnesota has a long history of violence against native women,'' she said.

The family is left distressed knowing that their sibling suffered and died a violent death. "Case could have saved her,'' Halverson said. Calling his actions "savage and inhumane,'' she bemoaned the "senseless murder of a mother, sister and auntie.'' "I can only pray to the Creator to help us all,'' she said.

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Case told the court he could only ask for everyone's forgiveness and wishes he could turn back the hands of time.

Both Case and the victim had been drinking and under the influence of methamphetamine at the time. Case said he does not remember what happened, but that the evidence shows him to be the "culprit'' in the death of the woman he loved.

"I realize that no one has to forgive me. I cannot even forgive myself for what happened, but ask Jesus Christ and Elizabeth Gregg spiritually through prayer for forgiveness every single day that I wake up,'' he told the court.

Case entered his guilty plea Dec. 9 to the second degree charge, just days before a grand jury was to be convened to consider a first degree murder indictment. In exchange for the plea, the prosecution did not convene the grand jury. It also dropped motions seeking a harsher sentence based on claims that the victim was particularly vulnerable and that Case acted with particular cruelty and abused a trusting relationship.

Accepting the second degree murder plea saved the victim's family from having to hear painful testimony about the death of their loved one, Plesha told the court.

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