Hunter charged in killing of ex-police chief says he was trying to scare a fawn

The former Lake Park police chief was shot in the back on Nov. 10.
Publish date:

The hunter charged in the killing of a former Minnesota police chief told investigators that he was shooting at a fawn, trying to scare it. 

According to a criminal complaint filed in Becker County, 54-year-old Morris Dodd Jr. of Ogema, Minnesota, admitted to hunting near where 53-year-old Jay Nelson, a former Lake Park police chief, was shot dead while sitting in his vehicle on Saturday, Nov. 10. 

Investigators were led to Dodd after finding a spent shell casing, cigarette and footprints in a wooded area several hundred yards from where Nelson was shot. 

Dodd admitted that he was hunting with a Remington Model 700 .30-06 rifle and that he fired a shot in Nelson's general area in an attempt to "spook" a fawn, but he denied ever seeing a vehicle or intentionally shooting at a vehicle or person. 

Nelson suffered a gunshot wound through his upper back/shoulder area. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was able to match the bullet from Nelson to the shell casing in the wooded area and Dodd's rifle. 

Dodd is in custody at the Becker County Jail on charges of 2nd-degree manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm, stemming from his 1994 conviction for criminal sexual conduct. 

Nelson retired from law enforcement in 2015 having served nine years as Chief of Police in Lake Park. He was also formerly a deputy sheriff in Becker County between 1999 and 2006.

Next Up

Google Street View - South 9th Street and LaSalle Avenue

Charges: Suspect told witness, 'I can’t believe that I shot that girl'

The 24-year-old victim was found dead in a parking garage.

florida arrests

3 Minnesotans arrested in Florida after break-in at private marina

The suspects said they jumped the fence to take photos of yachts.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.15.34 AM

40-year-old Iron Range man arrested in fatal stabbing

He's suspected of stabbing a woman in his apartment.

Mike Zimmer

Did the Vikings schedule get leaked? Here's what it says

The full schedule is due to be released Wednesday evening.

Grocery shopping

Prices of consumer goods spike: Is inflation a concern?

Consumer prices jumped 4.2% over the past year - but there are explanations.

racist comments stillwater

DOC worker filmed yelling at protesters has been fired

Sgt. Paul Gorder was captured on video yelling at protesters in April.

nine mile brewing bloomington

Bloomington is set to get its first taproom this fall

The brewery plans to serve a variety of beer when it opens later this year.

Flickr - Grand Canyon National Park - bison close-up

The Sioux Chef petitions to stop Grand Canyon bison cull

Only 12 "skilled volunteers" will ultimately be selected to participate.

Jack Eichel

Can the Wild win a bidding war for Sabres star Jack Eichel?

Eichel could be on his way out of Buffalo, and Minnesota could use a No. 1 center.

state patrol

I-94 closed eastbound at Freeport after fatal crash

A second crash happened in the backup of vehicles, leading to serious injuries.


Man arrested for manslaughter in hunting death of former police chief

Jay Nelson was found dead in his vehicle on Nov. 10.

Former deputy sheriff found dead in apparent hunting accident

Jay Nelson was deputy sheriff of Becker County from 1999-2006.

Charges: Drunk driver fled police, caused crash that killed 18 year old

The drunk driver reached speeds exceeding 100 mph, police say.

Suspect dies after killing K9, injuring officer in Duluth

A suspect opened fired on police, killing a K9 and injuring another officer.

Michael Tibbetts

Family mourns man killed in hit-and-run; search for suspect ongoing

The 27-year-old died after the UTV he was on was hit by a car.