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Man pleads innocent in shootings

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A Detroit Lakes man accused of shooting two people and killing one of them has pleaded innocent to all charges.

Ronald Matthew Quiceno, 38 entered his plea Thursday afternoon in Becker County District Court.

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His attorneys, Joseph Parise and Simon George, also issued a demand for a speedy trial, with jury selection expected to begin within 60 to 90 days.

Another request from the defense to reduce Quiceno’s $2 million bail without conditions was once again rejected by Judge Peter Irvine, despite the defendant’s willingness to agree to any restrictions the court might impose, including house arrest.

Court records allege that Quiceno fatally shot Travis Buckanaga, 23, in the chest after an argument that occurred during the early morning hours of Jan. 25, at a get-together in a mobile home park north of Detroit Lakes.

Quiceno has also been charged with shooting and wounding another man, Barris Guy, 26.

Buckanaga was pronounced dead a short time later at the Detroit Lakes hospital, while Guy was treated for a gunshot wound in his lower neck at the Perham hospital, and subsequently released.

An amended complaint was filed against Quiceno on April 30, charging him with two counts of second degree murder, one count of second degree attempted murder, second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and illegal possession of a firearm.

Quiceno was convicted of felony theft in 2006, felony carrying a concealed weapon in 2004, and felony carjacking in 1996 in California. He has had several parole violations and several active arrest warrants.

Quiceno does not shy away from his past, but in a telephone interview, he said that he had been working to turn his life around.

“I’ve changed,” he said.

Indeed, his mother noted that before his arrest, he was attending M State in Detroit Lakes with plans to pursue a degree in both journalism and politics.

“He’s always had a passion, a drive to help people get along,” said his mother, Melissa Ward, noting that his mixed racial background of Cherokee Indian, Jewish and Sicilian has made him particularly accepting of people from other cultures.

“He has no prejudice against anybody,” she added.

Quiceno said that he was at the get-together on the night of the shooting “to pick up one of the guys to help me build a studio.

“I felt that (studio) would be my venue to raise my voice, but also to help other people … people who were thinking the white man’s bringing them down, this and that,” he added.

Elizabeth Quiceno also noted that her husband has been a passionate advocate for the rights of immigrants.

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Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers and editor of MN Boomers magazine for the past 13 years. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 847-3151
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