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Top 10 Stories – #7 Colton Gleason Murder

Colton Gleason’s family, Photo by’s Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD — In today’s installment of our Top 10 stories of 2012, we take a look at number 7….the murder of Colton Gleason.

It was September 20th at about 11:20 p.m. when St. Cloud Police were called to investigate an assault in the alley in the 600 block between 8th and 9th Avenues South. But, that assault ended in the death of 20-year-old Colton Gleason.

Witnesses told police they were walking home when a car drove through the alley, closely passing the group that included Gleason. According to the criminal complaint, four people got out of the vehicle and approached the group. One of the car’s occupants then punched Gleason once causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the pavement.

Gleason was hospitalized and died the next day.

Colton Gleason

Police later arrested 17-year-old Jesse Smithers of Sauk Rapids. He is charged with second degree murder, first degree manslaughter, and first degree assault. The judge ordered that Smithers remain in custody without bail.

After Smithers’ initial court hearing, Gleason’s dad talked about the incident that killed his son…

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The Stearns County Attorney also filed a motion for certification of Smithers to stand trial as an adult. A judge has until early January to rule on that motion.

Through his attorney, the 17-year-old Smithers says he had nothing to do with the attack, and doesn’t know who did.

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