A Mankato man accused of firing his shotgun during an altercation in Kasota pled not guilty to felony assault charges by reason of self-defense.

Dylan Andrew Nichols, 27, was charged with three felonies, including second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, intentional discharge of a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Nichols pled not guilty to the charges on April 11 and awaits a jury trial set for July 25 before Judge Patrick Goggins.

According to the criminal complaint, the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a physical altercation where a long gun was fired at West Cherry Street in Kasota.

Police arrived at the scene after the indecent ended. The caller told law enforcement they witnessed two men having a heated discussion and one of them held a long black gun. While indoors, the caller heard what sounded like a gun shot coming from outside.

Law enforcement made contact with the other man involved in the incident. According to the criminal complaint, he told police that he and Nichols used to be friends and were arguing about a woman.

Nichols pulled out a shotgun and fired it at the area around his head, according the statement. The man was unharmed and tackled Nichols after the shotgun round, leading to a fight between the two. He then stated he fled from Nichols and ran south into the woods to escape.

The Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Nichols’ vehicle later that day, collecting a Scheels Outfitter camouflage gun case and a Thompson Center 209 X 50 magnum muzzleloader with a Vortex Diamondback 3-9 x 40 scope attachment and camouflage sling

Deputies observed a 209 shotgun primer in the breach plug was dented, indicating the muzzleloader was fired.

The gun case also contained a bag with 15 .223 rifle ammunition, five Remington 20-gauge sabot slugs and a Powerbelt muzzleloader bullet container with three clear tubes. Two of the tubes contained bullets and black powder, but one was empty.

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