A Burnsville man will spend four years in prison for the death of Justin James Schauer, 22.
On Friday, Judge Martha Simonett sentenced Kyle Alan Dague, 23, of Burnsville, to 48 months in prison for Schauer's shooting.
Schauer was found dead on Dec. 31, 2011 in an apartment in the 12700 block of Nicollet Avenue South. The Dakota County medical examiner determined that he had died from a 9-mm gunshot wound directly to his forehead. Later tests by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension led investigators to conclude that the shot was fired from 6 to 8 inches away, and that Dague’s DNA was found on the gun.
Police learned that Dague had purchased the handgun in April 2011. Witnesses told police that they had frequently seen Dague playing a "game," in which he and others took turns pulling back the slide of a handgun and catching the ejected bullets in the air with their free hands. Two people said they had seen Dague point the gun directly at others, pull the trigger and fire the unloaded weapon.
Another witness said Dague told him after Schauer’s death that Dague had pulled the trigger that night, according to court documents.
On July 16, he was indicted by a grand jury on one count of manslaughter in the second degree and reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality, both felonies. Dague pleaded guilty to the first charge in October.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom expressed sympathy for the deceased's family and called Schauer's death "senseless." He added that Dague initially lied to authorities, claiming that Schauer had shot himself.
Dague's case should be familiar to readers. In 2011, Derrick Wallace Dahl accidentally shot and killed a friend under similar circumstances. Dahl pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May. In September, Dahl was sentenced by Judge Erica MacDonald, who stayed the recommended 48-month sentence. Instead, she imposed 90 days in jail, with credit for time served, and then 10 years of probation. One of the conditions of Dahl's probation was that he participate in educational and outreach programs, which must include speaking to young people at least once every year for a decade.
For more coverage of the Dague case, see our previous articles:
- UPDATE: Burnsville Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
- Burnsville Man Indicted in New Year's Eve Death of Friend
- New Charges Filed in New Year's Shooting Death
- Savage Man Arrested in Weekend Death of Burnsville Man