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

By Staff reports
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Woman sentenced for shooting boyfriend

Karen Eaton to serve one year in jail, 20 years probation


A Sturgeon Lake woman who originally was charged with attempted first-degree murder and four other serious counts after she allegedly shot a man during a domestic dispute on August 19, 2014, was sentenced last week.

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

In early September 2015, Eaton pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. At that time, the state agreed to an 86-month commitment to prison based on state sentencing guidelines since Eaton had no prior criminal convictions. However, the defense would be allowed to depart from that sentence at the November sentencing hearing in front of Judge James T. Reuter.

At the November 24 sentencing, Eaton’s defense brought forward a motion for a downward departure based on mitigating circumstances. They asked for a stay of the sentence and that Eaton be placed on probation.

They claimed that Eaton should be placed on probation because she was amendable to treatment and probation, and she suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from previous relationships. With PTSD, the defense said Eaton was a “battered woman” and presented a psychological report, paid by the defense, which backed up this claim. Eaton also had many letters of support and supporters in the courtroom. A probation officer recommended probation.

Scott gave a statement to the court asking for “justice” but did not specify whether he wanted to see Eaton go to prison or be placed on probation. He stated he forgave her for what she did.

Judge Reuter granted the defense’s departure motion and the execution of the 86 months was stayed; instead, Eaton is on probation for 20 years. She has to serve 365 days in the county jail and have no contact with Scott, unless approved. She has 30 days to report.

According to the original charging document, authorities were called to Eaton’s home after a report was received that a man was shot. A deputy observed Scott, lying in a recliner chair and appearing 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. A .38 caliber pistol was found at the scene. The deputy observed there were no powder burns indicating a close contact bullet wound.

Eaton, court records state, told the deputy she and Scott 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.

Eaton told authorities she went out to their truck and retrieved a pistol from under the seat of the vehicle and went back into the home. After Scott walked toward Eaton, she shot him two times, charging documents said. After Eaton called 911, Scott said he told Eaton to tell authorities he shot himself, charging documents said.


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