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Detroit Lakes man gets five years on handgun charge

A Detroit Lakes man was sentenced Monday in Becker County District Court on a felony charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Tad Isaac Butcher, 26, of 1007 McKinley Ave., Detroit Lakes, was ordered to serve 60 months (five years) in prison at the Minnesota State Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He must also pay $1,160 in court fines and fees.

An additional felony charge of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, as well as a gross misdemeanor count of interference with an emergency call and a misdemeanor charge for mistreatment of animals, were dismissed.

The charges against Butcher stemmed from a Dec. 24, 2010 incident. According to the criminal complaint, Butcher became involved in an argument with a woman inside her Frazee apartment. The argument escalated to the point where he reportedly demanded that she tell him where her gun (which she carries for work purposes) and car keys were kept.

When she refused to tell him, he bit her on the hand and grabbed her cat, which he proceeded to strangle until it lost consciousness.

The woman then told Butcher where her gun was, after which he went to get it and allegedly used the gun to punch a hole through a sheetrock wall in her apartment. According to the complaint, he then chambered a bullet in the gun, after which the woman fled, fearing he was about to shoot her. She left the apartment and started walking down the street, then called law enforcement.

When an officer responded, she began talking with him about the incident, appearing visibly shaken. While they were talking, the officer noticed Butcher leaving the apartment building.

Butcher already had a felony conviction on his record, and his right to carry firearms had not been restored by the state at the time the incident occurred.