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21-year-old accused of fatally shooting man with sawed-off shotgun pleads guilty

Authorities said the suspect pulled the trigger "without provocation."

A Minnesota man accused of murder pleaded guilty Tuesday, admitting to using a short-barreled shotgun to shoot another man in the head.

Montana Cutbank, 21, was charged on Dec. 2, 2020, with second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting in Ten Lake Township eight days earlier. Prosecutors said Cutbank, of Pennington, was in the back seat of a vehicle the night of the killing, along with three other occupants.

They had driven to the victim's home, and the man came out to speak to some of the individuals in the vehicle. 

At some point, possibly during an argument, Cutbank took a short-barreled shotgun out from underneath his clothing, then fired it at the victim. The man was struck in the head and died. Authorities said Cutbank pulled the trigger "without provocation."

Cutbank entered a guilty plea in the case Tuesday, according to court records. 

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The Beltrami County Attorney's Office said Cutbank, in doing so, admitted to intentionally killing the victim, who is not identified in documents. He also waived any claim of self-defense.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 15, court records say. A second-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

You can read more about the charges against Cutbank here.

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