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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - There was a surprise plea agreement today in a local murder case.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem says 33-year-old William Shillingford entered a guilty plea to second-degree intentional murder just as his court trial was beginning in Olmsted County Court this afternoon. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 8th. The plea deal recommends a sentence of just under 22 years in prison.

The Kasson man was accused of fatally shooting 70-year-old John Colbert at the victim's home on the eastern edge of Oxbow Park near Byron in May of last year. According to the criminal complaint, the victim's son spotted Shillingford hiding around the corner of a detached garage after he saw the man's pickup pull into the driveway. After he was alerted by his son, Colbert armed himself with a handgun and went outside with his son to investigate.


Court records indicate video recorded by security cameras on the property shows Shillingford shooting at the victim multiple times after assuming "a shooting stance." His son told investigators that Colbert managed to fire two shots at the gunman after he had been shot. Colbert then managed to get back inside his home before he collapsed and was pronounced dead at the scene.

security camera
photo by trekandshoot

Shillingford was captured at another property located less than a half-mile from the crime scene.

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