A Minneapolis man has been charged in the shooting death of an Owatonna acquaintance in his Minneapolis home last week.
Travis Patrick Wade Leonard, 23, of Minneapolis, was charged in Hennepin County with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, both felonies, Monday in the Sept. 24 death of Dylan Lattery, 23. The most serious charge, second-degree murder, carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Leonard’s bail was set at $1 million and he is being held in the Hennepin County jail. Leonard had an initial court appearance in Hennepin County Tuesday.
An autopsy determined that Lattery had been shot once in his back and once in the back of the head, according to the criminal complaint.
Lattery graduated from Owatonna High School in 2015. Family and friends of Lattery have posted on social media that they remember him as someone who loved adventures, was quick to make friends and had a “kind soul.”
According to the criminal complaint:
Officers responded to Leonard’s Minneapolis home at 10:54 p.m. Thursday after Leonard called 911 to report that someone had broken into his home and that he shot the intruder.
When officers arrived, they found Lattery not breathing on the floor near the back door. Officers found a hatchet in Lattery’s hand. During a search of the home, officers located a sheath covering to the hatchet outside Leonard’s upstairs bedroom and Leonard’s firearm on the closet floor. The officers also found a safe in the closet with $13,000 in cash outside of it and a suitcase containing marijuana and THC wax in an adjacent room. Digital scales and other drug paraphernalia were located throughout the house.
Leonard initially told police that he didn’t know Lattery prior to the incident. He said he, and his wife and child, were in bed when they saw Lattery in the doorway, holding a hatchet and asking where the money was. Leonard said he fought with Lattery, falling down the stairs and continuing to fight in the home’s main level.
He said Lattery swung the hatchet at him and described a struggle in which Lattery had the upper hand. Leonard said he called for his wife to get his gun. He said he shot Lattery in the stomach and in the head during the fight.
However, Leonard’s wife told police that she saw Leonard pinning Lattery on the ground and beating him when she brought him the gun. She described a fight where Leonard had the upper hand. She said Leonard told her to shoot Lattery and she refused, handing the gun to Leonard. She then went back upstairs and heard one gunshot. She said she heard Lattery telling Leonard to end his life and then heard a second gunshot.
When police confronted Leonard about the inconsistencies, Leonard admitted that he knew Lattery and that he had sold marijuana to him in the past. He said he stopped talking to Lattery a month earlier because Lattery suggested the two of them begin robbing drug dealers. Leonard maintained that he shot Lattery in the stomach while they were struggling, then hit him in the head several times with the gun.
Leonard said he realized it was Lattery at that point and told him to leave the house. Leonard said Lattery replied that he couldn’t walk or feel his legs and told Leonard, “Just end me. Just end me now.” Leonard admitted that he then shot Lattery in the back of the head and put the hatchet in Lattery’s hand to make it look like he was still a threat. He also admitted that he went upstairs afterward and began hiding his marijuana before calling police.