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Suspect in Minnesota Vets Home attack to make court appearance Monday

HASTINGS, Minn. -- Randy Sears, who has been charged with murder in connection with the beating death of a resident of the Minnesota Veterans Home, Hastings, will make his next court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Dakota County District Court.

Sears has been charged with murder in the second degree, (with intent to kill), one count of murder in the second degree (while committing a felony), and one count of assault in the first degree in connection with the attack on Richard Jackson, 54.

Jackson died Aug. 24 at Regions Hospital, St. Paul.

Sears has been in the Dakota County Jail since the Aug. 4 attack on Jackson.

Hastings officers were called at approximately 7 a.m. Aug. 4 to the Veterans Home. When they arrived, they were directed to the residential area of the third floor. Officers observed a male lying on his back on the floor being attended to by the nursing staff. The nurses had placed ice packs on either side of the man's head in a effort to reduce the swelling.

An officer assisted in holding the man's head steady as nurses attended to him. The same officers were approached by a another man, later identified as Sears. According to the complaint, Sears said, "You want to talk to me, I did it."

When a second officer approached Sears and asked what had happened, Sears said, "I did it ... you may as well handcuff me and take me to jail." Before the officer had the opportunity to read Sears his Miranda right, Sears refused, saying, "Fifth Amendment, constitution, only thing you need to know is this one statement, I did it."

A member of the nursing staff told the officers another resident told them to respond to the third floor. This third resident told officers he heard a loud noise coming from the hallway. When the resident looked out his door, he saw the male (Sears) standing over the man. The man (Sears) was apparently stomping on the victim's head and did not stop.

The Hastings (Minn.) Star and Detroit Lakes Newspapers are both owned by Forum Communications Co.