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Hanks charged with second-degree murder

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A Kelliher woman was charged Monday with second-degree intentional murder for her alleged role in the Oct. 20 shooting of 27-year-old Matthew David Albert.

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Betsy Marie Hanks, 25, of Kelliher, was charged in Beltrami County District Court before Judge John G. Melbye. Hanks was Albert's partner and they had four children together.

Bail was set at $1.5 million.

Her next court date was set for Nov. 9.

Albert, of Kelliher, was alive but unconscious when authorities arrived to the scene of the alleged shooting on Oct. 20. He was transported by Blackduck Ambulance to a landing site for North Memorial Air Ambulance, which airlifted him to North Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis.

Albert never regained consciousness, and he died Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint:

Hanks initially called 911 at 10:23 a.m. Oct. 20 saying that she just returned to their home and found Albert with a gunshot wound to the head.

She initially told police she found Albert in bed and that he kept a pistol in a case by the bed, but that she could not locate the pistol.

But in an interview with investigators on Thursday, Hanks offered different accounts of the incident.

She first repeated her earlier order of events.

She then stated that she saw one of her children playing with the pistol, and when she tried to take it away, it discharged and shot Albert.

Hanks then said she had shot Albert in the head with the pistol to give their children a better father.

She told investigators that she took the pistol and shot Albert in the back of the head, and then she took the gun and disposed of it in a swampy area.

Hanks showed investigators where she had tossed the gun, and it was recovered.

Hanks told police that she and Albert had been discussing some issues they were having in their relationship and had stayed up talking until 4 a.m. Oct. 20. One of the issues was that Albert believed Hanks was romantically involved with another man, a claim which Hanks denied.

The morning of the shooting, Albert got up and fed two of the children and left to purchase more food. He returned home and went back to bed.

Hanks got the older two children off to school on the bus. She then prepared to take one of the younger children to Mizpah. The youngest child was sleeping and would remain home.

Hanks told police that Albert told her to simply leave him when she left the house.

A preliminary autopsy by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner indicated that Albert died as a result of a single gunshot would to the left side of his head.

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