The trial of a McLeod County Sheriff’s deputy scheduled to begin Monday was canceled when a judge dismissed the indictment on Friday.
Deputy Mark Eischens was indicted by a grand jury on October 19 on four charges: second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, fifth-degree assault with intent to inflict bodily harm, use/possession of a deadly weapon, and intentional discharge of a weapon.
On April 13th, Eischens and other emergency response personnel executed a search warrant on a rural residence northeast of Biscay.
59 year old Harry Lee Ondracek was reportedly shot, treated at Hutchinson Community Hospital for injuries, then arrested and charged with fifth degree controlled substance crime for alleged drug possession.
The Silver Lake Leader reports Sibley County Attorney David Schauer, who was the prosecutor because Eischens is a county employee, said in a court filing that “the state does not believe the case can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Schauer sought to have the indictment dismissed and his request was approved by District Court Judge Arlene Perkkio on January 4.
According to court documents, the had made entry, and Eischens heard a “thud” or “bang” just as Ondracek had come around a corner and into view. Eischens asserted that he thought Ondracek had fired a weapon, and fired his in return as self-defense. It was later determined that Ondracek was unarmed.
Eischens has been on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the court proceedings.