St. Cloud Man Indicted on 1st-Degree Murder Charge
ST. CLOUD -- A Stearns County grand jury has indicted a St. Cloud man on a 1st-degree murder charge and a second St. Cloud man on aiding and abetting 1st-degree murder.
Forty-two-year-old Alphonso Cotto is also charged with 2nd-degree murder, aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder, and being a felon in possession of a gun.
And, 53-year-old Paul Coleman is also charged with aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder in the May 24th shooting death of 38-year-old Michael Batsche.
The incident happened at a home in the 1200 block of 10th Avenue South. Police arrived to find Batsche lying on the floor by the back door with a gunshot wound to his head.
After the shooting, Cotto fled the state and was found and arrested by Chicago Police. He was extradited back to the Stearns County Jail where he is being held on $4-million unconditional bail or $2-million with conditions. Coleman is being held on $3-million bail with no conditions or $2-million with conditions.
According to the charging complaints, footage from the home's motion cameras shows Batsche alone in the backyard prior to the shooting. Roughly 10 minutes later, the camera activated again showing Coleman and Cotto, near a detached garage facing the back door where the victim was found. Coleman could be seen holding what is believed to be a gun in his right hand. Coleman and Cotto could then be seen running to a vehicle, registered to Coleman, with another man in the driver seat. As the men enter the vehicle, Coleman fires one round toward the victim before they drive off.
Records show a woman and her son found the victim and called police. The woman told officers that Cotto was angry at Batsche and had argued with him multiple times in the days leading up to the shooting.
According to the complaint, authorities found Coleman at a St. Cloud home a few days later. Authorities say his clothes matched the clothes of one of the men who were caught on camera.
Police say Coleman appeared to have taken some drugs and was taken to St. Cloud Hospital. He denied his involvement in the shooting.
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