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.
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Morris Dodd Jr.

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. 

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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.

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