Man Gets 4 Years For Burnsville Manslaughter

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — A man was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting he fatally shot another man in his Burnsville home last January.

According to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, Robert Michael Thomas, 47, pleaded guilty last month to shooting 38-year-old James Edward Koenig.

The Jan. 23 shooting happened in Thomas’s home after he and Koenig got into an argument.

Judge Timothy McManus handed down the 48-month prison sentence on Thursday.

According to the original criminal complaint, Koenig’s girlfriend and Koenig’s 13-year-old son were also inside the residence when the alleged shooting took place.

The girlfriend told police that they were all invited over to Thomas’ townhome to watch the Green Bay Packers game on Sunday. She said she left for a short time and when she returned, Koenig and Thomas were drinking straight vodka out of white coffee cups.

She said an argument started and Thomas told Koenig to leave. After Koenig refused and began yelling, Thomas allegedly came back with a shotgun and again told Koenig to leave.

“Using guns to resolve disputes is never appropriate,” said county attorney James Backstrom. “Instead of picking up a gun, Thomas could have picked up a phone and dialed 911.”

Thomas had been indicted on one count each of murder while committing second-degree assault, manslaughter, intentional discharge of a firearm, endangering another and reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality, all of which are felonies. He pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter.

  • Anngel

    You kill someone and get only FOUR YEARS?!?! No wonder criminals are flocking to MN! Enough with the Minnesota nice! I’m so tired of these lame plea bargains.

    • Minnesota Nice to Whites

      You mean Minnesota Nice to Whites!!!!

  • Felice

    Yes, it’s hard to believe only 4 years for killing someone. It didn’t even say anything about the guy coming at him to fight him or he felt afraid for his life- just that he came back with a gun & shot the guy!

  • what a joke

    Turns out Rob Thomas was sexually interested in the straight man – now he can take it in prison.

    Loser. 4 years is petty.

  • Callina

    If it was a woman killing her abusive husband, statistically, she’d face at least 15 years. It would be nice to see reforms, where the punishments actually fit the crimes.

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