OWATONNA — Third District Judge Joseph Bueltel on Tuesday found Jason Paul Krieg guilty on two counts of attempted murder and not guilty on one count of drive-by shooting after a trial centered on the shooting at an area restaurant last year.
Krieg was on trial for first-degree attempted murder, second-degree attempted murder and performing a drive-by shooting for an incident that occurred on Jan. 9, 2012, at the Medford McDonald’s. Krieg was a suspect in the case and was arrested two days after the shooting after he fled from police on foot.
According to the order signed by Bueltel for the verdict, the prosecution was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Krieg was trying to kill the victim in the case, who was sitting inside his mother’s car at McDonald’s when Krieg fired six bullets that all struck the vehicle. The ruling showed the state had proved that Krieg intended to kill, had motive and premeditated intentions the shooting.
Conversely, Bueltel ruled that the state did not prove that Krieg exited the vehicle driven by Marcy Busho and then recklessly discharged a firearm toward the victim, which would have qualified the shooting as a drive-by shooting.
During the trial, the Krieg’s defense argued that he was only trying to scare the victim by firing into the vehicle.
Bueltel sided with the prosecution.
“Given all the evidence, this is not a situation where Defendant was merely trying to scare (the victim),” Bueltel wrote. “Defendant had intent to kill. Defendant acted with purpose to cause the death of (the victim). Defendant believed that his actions would result in the death of (the victim).”
Steele County Attorney Dan McIntosh said the rulings on the attempted murder charges was consistent with his view of the case.
“We feel good on behalf of the victims of the case. They’ll get a sense of justice” McIntosh said.
Krieg is set to be sentenced on May 1. Because second-degree attempted murder is a lesser included charge to first-degree attempted murder, Krieg will only be sentenced for the first degree charge. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on Twitter.com@OPPalstrain