Tungland pleads guilty to 1 charge

Local News

There will be no trial for a Frost teen charged in the assault of a former Blue Earth Area (BEA) football teammate in October 2017.

Wyatt Eugene Tungland, 19, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of third-degree assault on Wednesday in Martin County District Court in Fairmont.

Charges of aiding and abetting third-degree assault and furnishing alcohol to persons under the age of 21 were dismissed.

A four-day jury was scheduled to be held April 23-26 in Faribault County District Court in Blue Earth.

“For the record, the trial for next week is stricken off the court calendar,” says Judge Michael Trushenski.

The hearing Wednesday was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. but Trushenski granted defense attorney Chris Ritts’ request to start a half hour earlier.

Because of the earlier start time, the lone media representative at the hearing arrived at the posted court calendar time and did not hear any of the proceedings.

Following the hearing, Trushenski said he did not address the issue of a “gag order” he imposed last month on all parties involved in the case.

The “gag order” was issued at the request of the Faribault County Attorney’s Office, who accused Ritts of making disparaging comments about assistant County Attorney LaMar Piper in a Tripleanews.com story on Feb. 28.

At the request of Tripleanews.com the judge said Piper and Ritts could make a comment if both parties agreed to do so.

When Piper asked Ritts if he would be willing to speak to the press he said no and then uttered an expletive at the reporter.

Piper and the assault victim’s father Dale Hurley met for more than 20 minutes in the Law Library room, while Ritts, Tungland and his mother were meeting nearby in the Jury room.

Tungland is the last for four teens who were charged in the assault to settle his case.

The other three defendants also pleaded guilty to various charges after reaching plea deals with prosecutors.

The assault occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 19, 2017, during a house party at the home of a BEA football player in Winnebago.

A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered prior to Tungland’s sentencing that is scheduled to be held on June 11.

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