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Court of Appeals rules Nicholas Shutter should be tried as an adult

The Court of Appeals said on Tuesday that Nicholas Shutter should indeed be tried as an adult for the murder of his grandmother, Marilyn Shutter, 55, of Bemidji.

Nicholas Shutter allegedly shot and killed Marilyn Shutter on Thanksgiving Day, Aug. 24, 2005, with a deer rifle.

Marilyn Shutter and her husband, Theodore Shutter, had adopted Nicholas Shutter as a young child and had been raising him as their son. He called them "Mom and "Dad," according to court documents.

Originally deemed unfit to stand trial, Nicholas Shutter was committed to a treatment facility in February 2006.

He later was determined to be competent to stand trial and the State of Minnesota petitioned to have Nicholas Shutter tried as an adult for second-degree murder. Theodore Shutter testified against having Nicholas Shutter certified as an adult. The district court agreed with the state, citing clear-and-convincing evidence that public safety was best served by certifying him as an adult.

He soon appealed.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday released an unpublished opinion in which it affirmed the district court's ruling.

"(Nicholas Shutter) asserts that because he has no prior delinquency record and has never been given an opportunity to succeed in a rehabilitation placement designed to meet his needs, the district court abused its discretion by certifying (him) to adult court," the ruling states. "Under the circumstances of this case, we disagree."

According to the criminal complaint, Theodore Shutter called Beltrami County dispatch at about 9:40 p.m. on Aug. 24, 2005, to report that his wife had been shot in the head with a deer rifle at their farm home on Van Buren Avenue Southeast.

Theodore Shutter told dispatch that he had taken the gun away from his grandson and was holding him while waiting for law enforcement to arrive, the complaint said.

Beltrami County deputies arrived and found Marilyn Shutter on the living room couch with an apparent gunshot wound to her head, the complaint said.

Theodore Shutter was standing over his grandson, who was lying on the floor in the entry of the house, the complaint said.

Marilyn Shutter was transported to North Country Regional Hospital, where she died, the complaint said.

A loaded Remington .243 caliber bolt-action deer rifle was found near the kitchen sink and is believed to be the weapon used in the shooting, the complaint stated.

While officers were securing the scene, Nicholas Shutter several times said he was sorry for what he had done, the complaint stated.

During a Mirandized statement, Nicholas Shutter allegedly said he had gone down to the basement after eating Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends, the complaint stated.

After the guests left, he said, he went into his grandparents' bedroom, took the deer rifle and loaded it with three or four rounds of ammunition, which he said he took from a dresser, the complaint stated. He said he waited for his grandparents to go into the living room and start watching television, the complaint stated.

Nicholas Shutter said he waited a while and thought about killing both grandparents, and then breaking into the gun cabinet and taking a handgun to rob a store in Bemidji, the complaint stated. Nicholas Shutter allegedly said he waited 15 or 20 minutes, then went into the hallway next to the living room and fired the gun at Marilyn Shutter, who was lying on the couch. The shot caused the fatal wound, the complaint stated.