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Teen among those arrested in deadly home invasion; painkillers the motive

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A 16-year-old boy is awaiting charges after a Pine County home invasion early Thursday morning that left one man dead.

The Duluth News Tribune says the teen is a suspected intruder who broke into a farmhouse near Sandstone and fled after his accomplice, 23-year-old Gypsy Watts, was shot and killed by the homeowner.

The homeowner, a 75-year-old man, told Pine County sheriff's deputies that he approached the two men who entered his home and shot Watts, who was also armed, during a confrontation.

Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole is calling the incident an attempted robbery and says the intruders were likely after prescription painkillers, KSTP reports. The homeowner suffers from terminal cancer.

Northland's NewsCenter says the 16-year-old is expected to be charged with several criminal counts, including first-degree burglary. Details on the other two men arrested have not been released.

Cole said Watts had a lengthy criminal history, WCCO reported. WDAY says in 2009, Watts was convicted for a series of convenience store robberies in Grand Forks and was sentenced to four years in jail.

It doesn't appear the homeowner did anything wrong, Cole said. Minnesota law allows citizens to use deadly force in self-defense, if necessary. That’s only if the victim – and ultimately, a jury – reasonably believes the victim could be greatly harmed or killed.

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