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Cass Lake man gets prison sentence in death of 25-year-old woman

Brandon Joseph Roy Photo from Minnesota Department of Corrections

A 25-year-old Cass Lake man was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of a 25-year-old Cass Lake woman.

Brandon Joseph Roy was sentenced Nov. 2 in Cass County District Court in Walker to seven and-a-half years in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. Judge David Harrington sentenced Roy for second-degree manslaughter—culpable negligence of creating unreasonable risk.

In a plea agreement, the second-degree murder charge without intent against Roy was dismissed. It also called for Roy pleading guilty on the other two felonies he was charged with—first-degree aggravated robbery and possession a firearm. Roy was not adjudicated on these two felonies as they are not as serious as the manslaughter charge, court documents stated.

According to a criminal complaint, the victim, Brandi Lynn Shank, was killed during a robbery in November 2017. The complaint against Roy includes the accounts of two witnesses who told law enforcement they were present during the shooting.

The two witnesses, called W1 and W2 in the complaint, met with Roy at a store "on an arranged deal for controlled substances." The pair then went with Roy to an apartment on Seventh Street in Cass Lake. While there, Roy, the two witnesses and others used drugs and were "partying," the complaint said.

Eventually, Roy allegedly went into another room and came back with a handgun and a Cass Lake man identified in the complaint as Anthony LaRose. LaRose was allegedly armed with a shotgun.

The two men allegedly pointed their guns at the two witnesses and demanded drugs and money, at which point a fight broke out.

During the fight, Roy and LaRose injured the two witnesses, the complaint said, and LaRose allegedly fired two warning shots with the shotgun. W1 told police he and Roy went into the laundry room and fought over the handgun, at which point W1 bit Roy on the left hand.

While the struggle was going on, a woman identified in the complaint as a "female associate" of Roy and LaRose stole a "large sum" of money" and "a quantity of drugs" from W1.

According to the complaint, Roy then took the drugs, money and handgun, and went into the apartment bathroom with LaRose. One of the witnesses began banging on the bathroom door demanding his money back.

Either Roy or LaRose then fired the handgun twice, according to the complaint. One of the shots went through the bathroom door and hit the victim in the center of the forehead.

The Cass County Sheriff authorities found the woman Nov. 12, 2017, with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.