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Teen Accused Of Fatal Punch Changes Plea To 2nd-Degree Murder

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(credit: Stearns County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Stearns County Sheriff’s Office)

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ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) – An 18-year-old Sauk Rapids man accused of a deadly assault has changed his not guilty plea to 2nd-degree murder in a Stearns County court Friday morning.

According to the Stearns County Attorney’s office, Jesse Smithers amended his plea to 2nd-degree unintentional murder.

In Sept. 2012, Smithers was a passenger in a car driving down a St. Cloud alley when he asked the driver to stop. He got out of the vehicle and approached three men nearby, including Colton Gleason.

Smithers punched Gleason with a closed fist. He later died at St. Cloud Hospital from his injuries.

Smithers was 17 at the time of the crime, and was charged as an adult.

His trial will begin on Nov. 13. Sentencing is set for Feb. 6.

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