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Update: Man charged in shooting death of Lake Park Police Chief says he shot to 'spook' a fawn


A 54-year-old man from rural Ogema has been arrested and charged in relation to the Nov. 10 shooting that killed former Lake Park Police Chief Jay Nelson. Morris Silas Dodd Jr. faces one count of second-degree manslaughter and a second count of felony possession of a firearm.

According to the complaint filed by the Becker County Attorney, a call came in reporting a death in rural Becker County that Saturday just after 6 p.m. Officers arrived at the location on a logging trail near Little Flat Lake where they found Nelson deceased in his vehicle. Nelson was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Center for an autopsy where it was determined that he had suffered a single gunshot wound through his upper back-shoulder area. His cause of death was classified as a homicide.

During the investigation into Nelson’s death, officers discovered a spent shell casing, a cigarette butt, and footprints several hundred yards from where Nelson was found. A known male was interviewed and recalled seeing an older male with a long beard hunting in the area at the time Nelson was shot. The older male was later identified as Morris Silas Dodd Jr.

On a later date, Dodd was interviewed and admitted to hunting in the area on Nov. 10. He stated he was hunting with a Remington Model 700 .30-06 rifle. Dodd stated that some time that morning he fired a shot in the area of a fawn, hoping to “spook it.” He indicated that he was not purposefully trying to hit the fawn but just firing a shot in the general area to scare it. He denied seeing a vehicle or purposefully shooting at any vehicle or victim.

Officers seized Dodd’s rifle and were able to match it to the spent shell located in the woods and the bullet found in Nelson’s back.

Dodd was convicted of felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1994, making it illegal for him to possess a firearm. He faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine for the manslaughter charge and 15 years and/or a $30,000 fine for illegally possessing a firearm.

Original Story:

The Becker County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in relation to the Nov. 10 shooting that killed former Lake Park Police Chief Jay Nelson.

Morris Silas Dodd Jr., 54, of rural Ogema, is in custody in the Becker County Jail. He is facing charges for second degree manslaughter and felony possession of a firearm.

In the original release, the sheriff's office stated they believed the incident was a hunting accident. Nelson was apparently traveling on a forest trail near Little Flat Lake when a bullet struck his vehicle and killed him.