CLOQUET, Minn. — The man accused of a fatal shooting on the Fond du Lac Reservation over the weekend is expected to face formal charges and make an initial court appearance this week.
Thomas Allen Micklewright, 44, was arrested on a preliminary charge of unintentional second-degree murder in Saturday's shooting death of 65-year-old James Arthur Couture. The shooting occurred around 5 a.m. Nov. 9 at Micklewright's home just north of the Carlton County line, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.
With the Veterans Day holiday Monday, a formal complaint against Micklewright is not due in State District Court until Wednesday morning, Nov. 13. Prosecutors may also request a one-day extension to Thursday, said Nate Stumme, head of the Duluth criminal division of the St. Louis County Attorney's Office.
Authorities said Couture also lived on the reservation and described the two men as friends but have not elaborated on the circumstances of the incident. Two other adults were present in the home at the time of the shooting, though authorities believe they were both asleep at the time, according to St. Louis County Sgt. Wade Rasch.
Micklewright does not appear to have any criminal history outside of a drunken driving offense from 25 years ago and a number of traffic violations. He remains in the St. Louis County Jail as he awaits formal charges.
The Sheriff's Office is investigating the case with assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Fond du Lac Police Department.
Couture was born in Cloquet and lived in the Brookston area, according to his obituary. He is survived by his wife, six children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Services are planned for Thursday in Cloquet.
"Jim was a member of Fond du Lac Reservation and worked numerous jobs with them," the obit reads. "He was an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman and enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren."