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Cass Lake man pleads not guilty in shooting death

WALKER—A Cass Lake man pleaded not guilty Monday to second degree murder in a November 2017 fatal shooting in Cass Lake.

In district court, Brandon Joseph Roy, 25, pleaded not guilty to the charges of second degree murder without intent while committing a felony, first degree aggravated robbery and felon in possession of a firearm.

Roy is scheduled to have a pre-trial hearing Oct. 8, followed by a tentative jury date of Jan. 15, court officials said.

According to court documents, Roy was at a Cass Lake home on Nov. 12 during the shooting that resulted in the death of Brandi Lynn Shank, 25, of Cass Lake (also known as Brandi Strong).

The shooting allegedly began as an attempted robbery, the documents said. Roy and another man, Anthony LaRose, 29, of Cass Lake, were at the home with multiple other people, including two witnesses who they'd met earlier for a drug deal, according to documents. At some point during the event, Roy took a handgun and LaRose took a shotgun and began demanding drugs and money from the two witnesses.

A fight ensued between the various people at the scene. As the altercation continued, Roy and LaRose shut themselves in the bathroom, according to what a witness told investigators. Multiple shots were fired from the handgun through the bathroom door, which struck Shank in the head, the documents said. One of the two witnesses later told investigators that he thought he was the intended target of the shot that went through the door.

Jordan Shearer

Jordan Shearer covers crime and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. A Rochester native and Bemidji State grad, he previously spent several years in western Nebraska writing for the Keith County News. Follow him on Twitter @Jmanassa

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