Hutchinson man pleads guilty to aiding offender in rural Grove City shooting death
Byron James Jackson, 23, agreed to plead guilty to felony aiding an offender after the fact of an unintentional murder and will serve 180 months in prison for his role in the death. Four other felony charges related to the case against Jackson will be dismissed.
HUTCHINSON — A Hutchinson man pleaded guilty Wednesday, Sept. 22, in Meeker County District Court to aiding another man in the February shooting death of a rural Grove City man.
As part of a plea agreement, Byron James Jackson, 23, agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of aiding an offender after the fact of an unintentional murder and will serve 180 months in prison for his role in the death.
Jackson was initially charged with three felonies — first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault — in connection with assaults prior to the shooting. Two additional felony charges were added in July: aiding second-degree murder and the aiding an offender charge to which he pleaded guilty last week.
The four other felony charges will be dismissed at sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 20.
His co-defendant, Christian James Brown, 23, of Hutchinson, pleaded guilty in July to felony second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony. As part of a plea agreement, Brown will serve 180 months in prison and two felony second-degree assault charges will be dismissed at sentencing.
Brown's sentencing was scheduled for late Monday afternoon.
During his July 30 plea hearing, Brown admitted to shooting Devon Remmel, 42, during a scuffle after an apparent botched drug deal. Remmel's brother was injured in the altercation.
Brown testified in front of District Court Judge Stephanie Beckman that when he fired the gun, he intended to kill Remmel.
In May, the handgun used to kill Remmel was found by a Forest City Township farmer. The firearm, a Kimber model Stainless II .45-caliber automatic pistol, was owned by Brown.
In June, testing by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed that the bullet that killed Remmel was fired from the handgun owned by Brown.
According to court documents, Brown and Jackson arrived at a residence Feb. 26 in Acton Township to buy cocaine for a party when an argument and physical altercation ensued involving an unnamed victim and Remmel's brother, who lives at the residence about 2 miles south of Grove City.
Jackson punched Remmel's brother during the altercation, causing him to fall to the ground injuring his shoulder.
Both Brown and Jackson brandished semi-automatic pistols and threatened the lives of both the other men before leaving the house, according to the documents.
The unnamed victim attempted to bring Remmel's brother to the hospital but was blocked by Brown and Jackson's vehicle which was itself blocked by Remmel's vehicle when he arrived at the residence.
Remmel and Jackson were engaged in an altercation when Remmel's brother left his vehicle and Jackson attacked him, knocking Remmel's brother to the ground.
At this point, Brown shot Remmel in the head, according to Brown's testimony during his plea hearing.
Brown and Jackson located the spent cartridge and left the scene.
When Meeker County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived on scene, they attempted CPR on Remmel but he was pronounced deceased around 11:15 p.m. Feb. 26, about 30 minutes after the original 911 call was placed.
Remmel's brother was taken to a local medical facility by ambulance late that night and was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and a broken bone.