A rural Menahga teen has been charged in the Sept. 18 shooting death of Michael Robert Erickson, 17, of Menahga.
Logan Daniel Keranen, who turned 17 earlier this month, has been charged in Becker County Juvenile Court with felony third-degree murder and felony second-degree manslaughter.
According to court records, the two boys, along with a third boy whose name was not released, were friends who had stayed overnight at Keranen’s home in Runeberg Township.
They woke up about 8 or 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 18 and as the third boy was involved with his cellphone and Erickson either slept or dozed in bed, Keranen told investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that he picked up a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun to show it off to the others, and was waving it around when the gun accidentally went off from about 5 feet away from Erickson, hitting Erickson in the head. He died at the scene.
The third boy looked up from his phone and turned around after hearing the gun go off, and said he saw Keranen “kind of freaking out.” He said the two boys looked at Erickson and then ran upstairs to call 911.
Keranen said he was standing by a gun safe in the room where the shot was fired, and after the gun went off he put it back in the safe and called 911. He said he did not touch Erickson after the shooting.
A preliminary autopsy was completed the next day, on Sept. 19, and the cause of death was deemed to be due to a “contact” shotgun wound to the head.
According to court records, a contact wound is classified as a wound which the firearm is placed directly against the skin when fired. The medical examiner noted the presence of soot in the nasal crest of the victim’s maxilla, or jaw, and also noted that there was no evidence of pellet impact to the victim’s face. The manner of death was deemed a homicide.
Keranen was interviewed again two days later, on Sept. 21, and again said that the shooting had been an accident, and that the shotgun barrel was about 5 feet from the victim when the gun discharged. He did not recall touching the shotgun barrel to the victim’s face prior to the shotgun discharging.
The charges were filed Sept. 21 and the next day a detention hearing was held in Becker County Juvenile Court, with District Judge Gretchen Thilmony presiding. Logan was released to his parents, Daniel and Peggy Keranen of rural Menahga, with conditions that include no access to firearms, no drugs or alcohol, no unsupervised contact with anyone under age 18, and no cellphone possession.
Attorney Bruce Ringstrom is handling the defense. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 27.