Howard Lake Man Pleads Guilty in Drug Deal Shooting
FOLEY -- A Howard Lake man has pleaded guilty to one of the felony charges in a St. Cloud drug deal gone bad that left another man with a gunshot wound to the head.
Nineteen-year-old Julian Hill pleaded guilty to drive-by shooting. Other charges including the reckless discharge of a gun and assault are expected to be dismissed when Hill is sentenced in December.
According to the Benton County criminal complaint, Hill met the victim in an alley in the 400 block of Wilson Avenue Northeast on the night of April 23rd to exchange marijuana for cocaine. But, court records show the victim and his partner planned to rob Hill rather than exchange drugs.
Hill was arrested the following day on DWI charges in Meeker County and authorities found a gun on him. A witness also came forward who told police Hill admitted to being involved in the shooting.
Records show Hill confirmed the story with police. He told investigators that he met the victim and another man in the alley and handed over the pot and cash, but the men got out of the car and were leaving with his money and marijuana. Hill said he got out the car and fired a gunshot toward the dark shadowy figure running away. He said he heard a man yell then he fled the scene in his car.
Police arrived to find a 9mm handgun and two bags of cocaine in the alley. The victim was found with a head wound nearby.
A witness told police the victim called them and said he was bleeding. The witness also confirmed the robbery plans and that the victim owned a handgun like the one found in the alley.
The gunshot victim underwent surgery and was expected to recover.