Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Staff reports
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Attempted murder in Sturgeon Lake

Karen Lynn Eaton facing attempted first degree murder charges


Karen Lynn Eaton

A Sturgeon Lake woman is facing attempted first degree murder charges and four other serious counts after she allegedly shot a man during a domestic dispute last Tuesday, August 19.

Karen Lynn Eaton, 38, of 23285 Farm to Market Road in Sturgeon Lake, was arrested and charged with shooting at her boyfriend, Daniel Scott, 40, at her home last week.

Along with the attempted first degree murder charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, Eaton is also being charged with the following: attempted murder, second degree, without intent, while committing a felony; assault, first degree, great bodily harm; assault, second degree dangerous weapon; and assault, second degree, dangerous weapon, substantial bodily harm. The last four charges carry maximum penalties between seven and 20 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities were called around 6:05 p.m. last Tuesday to Eaton's home on a report of a man being shot. A deputy arrived at the scene and was directed into the residence by Eaton. The deputy observed a male, later determined to be Scott, lying in a recliner chair who appeared to be in severe pain. Eaton claimed it was an accident.

Scott told the deputy he was cleaning his gun and shot himself in the chest, twice.

Eaton told authorities she removed the gun, a .38 caliber pistol, and put it in the kitchen. The deputy noted that not much blood was coming from the wounds and there were no powder burns indicating a close contact bullet wound.

Scott was transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital before being airlifted to St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth due to life-threatening injuries.

Eaton, according to the charging complaint, said she was in the barn when she heard the shots and saw Scott holding his chest and dripping blood.

Another deputy with the department came to the property and requested permission to examine the scene, and gave Eaton a consent to search form, to which she said, "I am not signing that," according to the charging complaint.

Eaton, court records state, told the deputy she and her significant other had been arguing throughout the day. She said an argument became physical and she had gone to the doctor earlier that day since she believed her ribs might be broken. She said after she got home, Scott had her pinned to the ground and was choking her. Eaton told the officer she took that as a threat and left the residence.

Eaton told authorities she went out to their truck and retrieved a pistol under the seat of the vehicle and went back into the home. She said Scott said, "If you have a gun, you better use it." Eaton said Scott continued to walk toward her and she then pulled the trigger.

Eaton said Scott said something to the effect the first shot "didn't even phase him" and then she shot him a second time. She said when she told Scott she had called 911, Scott told Eaton to tell the authorities he shot himself while cleaning his gun, court records stated.

Medical staff at St. Luke's determined one of the bullets had lacerated Scott's liver while another was lodged in Scott's back near his spine and they were not able to immediately remove it.

The couple's 5-year-old son was home at the time outside. He told authorities he was helping his dad after he got shot, since his dad had accidentally gotten shot.

The deputy asked him how, and the child said, "He accidentally got shot by my mom."

The boy said he was outside because his parents were fighting, and "Daddy wouldn't let Mama in her room."

Scott was later interviewed at St. Luke's and admitted that Eaton had shot him, court records stated.

This investigation is ongoing. The Pine County Sheriff's Office received assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Duluth Police Department.

Scott is currently listed in stable but serious condition.

Before these charges, Eaton only had two minor brushes with the law, one for speeding while the other was for no proof of car insurance.


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