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Jury convicts man for fatal West Duluth shooting two years ago

News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/all/themes/bemidjipioneer_theme/images/social_default_image.png
Bemidji Pioneer
Jury convicts man for fatal West Duluth shooting two years ago
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ULUTH, Minn. - A jury in St. Louis County District Court has convicted a man in the fatal shooting at a party in 2009.

The jury found Stephen Cobenais guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Mario Highler. The 27-year-old Cobenais was also found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The trial began almost two weeks ago. The jury began deliberating late Thursday afternoon and reached a verdict Friday morning shortly after resuming deliberations.

Prosecutor Leslie Beiers told jurors in closing arguments that the shooting was "a tragedy, not a tragic accident" which was "fueled by anger and alcohol." WDIO-TV reports defense attorney David Malban argued that Cobenais didn't mean to shoot Highler and pulled out a gun because he wanted him to leave the party.

Pioneer staff reports
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