A 17-year-old Sauk Rapids boy was charged Tuesday with one count each of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault in connection with the death of a man punched once in an alley Thursday night in south St. Cloud.
Jesse Jean Smithers made his first court appearance in Stearns County District Court.
The St. Cloud Times reports Judge Frank Kundrat ordered Smithers held in secure detention pending the next court hearing in the case.
Stearns County filed a petition seeking to certify Smithers as an adult for prosecution, something presumed in this case and something Smithers and his attorney will have to convince a judge not to order.
Smithers, through his attorney, told Kundrat he didn’t have anything to do with the incident that led to Colton Gleason’s death and he doesn’t know who did.
A court complaint charging Smithers accuses him of being a passenger in a vehicle passing through an alley in south St. Cloud late Thursday night. Gleason was walking two female friends home when the vehicle passed near the three of them.
According to the complaint, Smithers told the driver to stop the vehicle. He got out and punched Gleason in the face one time, causing Gleason to fall backward and hit his head.
Smithers then got back into the car and indicated to the people inside he had punched Gleason, according to the complaint.
Gleason was unconscious when he was being taken to St. Cloud Hospital. He regained consciousness there but later died from his injuries.