Franklin man pleads guilty to killing woman with an arrow

OLIVIA -- A Franklin man pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a woman with an arrow after an apparent argument while they shared a remote campsite in Renville County.Dwayne Alan Case, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder -- with intent in th...

Dwayne Case

OLIVIA - A Franklin man pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a woman with an arrow after an apparent argument while they shared a remote campsite in Renville County.
Dwayne Alan Case, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder - with intent in the June 12 death of Elizabeth Gregg, 46, of Morgan.
Case entered what is called a Norgaard plea to the charge Wednesday afternoon in District Court in Olivia. Case told the court he acknowledged that the state has sufficient evidence to convict him on the charge but said he did not remember much of what happened at the campsite south of Franklin.
His plea came just six days before prosecutors were to convene a grand jury to consider a first-degree murder charge against him, it was revealed during the proceedings.
In return for the plea, prosecutors Robert Plesha with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and David Torgelson, Renville County Attorney, agreed not to convene the grand jury.
They also agreed to withdraw a motion that had sought a harsher sentence based on what they alleged were “aggravating factors’’ present when the crime occurred.
Under the agreement, the court has the discretion to sentence Case to anywhere from 295 months to 415 months in prison.
Gregg died after an arrow with a broadhead tip perforated her abdomen. She did not die immediately, and might have survived had Gregg sought immediate medical attention, according to information provided during the hearing.
In his testimony, Case said he and Gregg had been camping for about two to three weeks. There was a long-term, no-contact order imposed on him, but he said Gregg and he violated it to be together.
A video on Gregg’s mobile phone showed her “healthy, alive and well’’ at 2 a.m. on the day of her death, prosecutors told the court.
Case said he had fallen asleep, and at some point was awakened by Gregg, who apparently wanted to leave. The two argued. “I don’t remember why she wanted to leave. I don’t remember if she wanted to leave for sure,’’ he told the court.
Around 4 a.m., Case said he saw Gregg with the arrow in her body and realized she was dead. “I felt so bad that I wanted to end my own life,’’ he said.
Case said he drove to his mother’s house in Franklin and picked up the rifle he subsequently used on himself in an attempt at suicide. Case testified that before leaving his mother’s house he said: “‘I didn’t mean to do it. I love her,’ hugged my mom and said goodbye.’’
A man who had come to give Case a ride to work discovered the scene at the campsite around 8 a.m. and notified authorities. They discovered Case in the tent with a gunshot wound to his lower jaw. The body of Gregg was found under a blanket in the tent. A compound bow and quiver were also found at the scene.
Case acknowledged that the bow was his and that he likely was the person who had fired the arrow. DNA that matched his was found on the string of the bow, according to information presented to the court.
Evidence was also presented of blood and other signs that Gregg may have been shot by the arrow while seated in a truck at the campsite.
Prosecutors presented 62 different exhibits to the court which they had intended to present in a trial on the second-degree murder charge, and possibly to a grand jury had it been convened. At the prosecution’s request, District Judge Randall Slieter agreed to seal the exhibits from the public until after the sentencing.
During questioning in court, Case indicated he did not want to use defenses based on mental illness or intoxication, nor did he want to claim someone else could have fired the arrow. He told the court he has received mental health care in the past, and had been hospitalized for mental illness in 2011. He was entered into a residential chemical dependency program for methamphetamine use following that hospital stay.
He tested positive for methamphetamine when hospitalized for the self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 12.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 16 in Renville County District Court.


Morgan man faces murder charge: Dwayne Case allegedly killed girlfriend with bow and arrow and then attempted to kill himself

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