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Wadena man sentenced for shooting air gun at school buses

Timothy Mindermann

A 21-year-old man from Wadena was sentenced Feb. 4 to five years in prison for shooting a pellet gun at Wadena-Deer Creek school buses on March 3, 2008.

Timothy Erwin Mindermann received the five-year prison sentence for three felony charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. An Otter Tail County jury found Mindermann guilty on all three counts, in addition to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process after a three-day trial that ended Dec. 17.

Mindermann told the Wadena Pioneer Journal newspaper in the days after the incident that he was playing with the spring-powered gun on Minnesota Highway 29 just west of Wadena when it went off, and the shooting was "purely accidental."

"I never had anything against the school," he said. "It was an accident."

Three school buses with children aboard were hit, and windows were shattered. Then-superintendent Jerome Enget called the incident "unnerving."

Mindermann was given credit for 122 days already served in jail. He was also ordered to pay $135 in court costs and supply a DNA sample.