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Ellson enters guilty plea

WILLMAR -- Patrick Rodney Ellson, 30, of Atwater, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a second-degree burglary charge for the September burglary of a rural Atwater home.

WILLMAR -- Patrick Rodney Ellson, 30, of Atwater, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a second-degree burglary charge for the September burglary of a rural Atwater home.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was amended from first-degree burglary and two additional charges, a felony for attempted theft of a firearm and a misdemeanor for theft, will be dismissed.

The charges were filed after Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies were dispatched on Sept. 26 to a home along U.S. Highway 12 for a burglary in progress. They arrived to find the homeowner holding the door to the basement closed and the suspect pushing from the other side.

The deputies opened the door and found Ellson staggering on the steps with items strewn around him. He was also clutching fistfuls of money. The deputies placed Ellson in custody and conducted a sweep of the home. They found two guns -- a Remington shotgun and a Marlin rifle -- plus personal items stacked on a bed in a ransacked bedroom. In another room, they found drawers opened and jewelry rifled through. After conducting a search of Ellson, deputies found a wallet and driver's license belonging to a member of the family.

Ellson will be sentenced Feb. 25.

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