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Former Ellsworth man acquitted in 2016 shooting death

A Dunn County sheriff's deputy removed police tape from a town of Weston home where authorities say resident Justin Ogden was shot dead Dec. 2. The suspected shooter, Ogden's roommate, was arrested in connection with the incident. File photo

MENOMONIE — The Ellsworth native who presented a self-defense argument in court was acquitted by a jury last week in the shooting death of his brother-in-law.

A Dunn County jury on Friday, July 14, found Jerad A. Jones, 31, not guilty in the shooting death of 32-year-old Justin Dale Ogden. Jones was charged with first-degree reckless homicide.

The conviction followed four days of testimony.

Jones, 30, shot Ogden on Dec. 2, 2016, in the house they shared with Ogden's wife, who is also Jones' sister. He told authorities he was protecting his sister, Joanie Jones, from Ogden at the time of the shooting.

According to a criminal complaint, Jerad Jones returned to the town of Weston house after a fight with Ogden to learn from his sister that Ogden had beaten and threatened her.

The Jones siblings, along with Joanie's child, barricaded themselves inside a bedroom of the house, where Jerad armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun, the complaint states, which notes the siblings were fearful of what Ogden would do.

Jerad Jones later stood guard with the shotgun while Joanie ran out to grab food for the trio. He told investigators that Ogden then appeared from another bedroom and moved toward him.

Jerad Jones told Ogden not to take another step and to go back in his room. Ogden allegedly replied, "Oh, you got a (expletive) gun. You're going to shoot me. Go right ahead and shoot me."

Jerad Jones shot Ogden in the right shoulder after his brother-in-law allegedly took a step toward him. He later told authorities that he only meant to wound Ogden with a shoulder shot. The complaint states Jerad Jones feared Ogden would "hurt, kill or choke him."

If convicted, Jerad Jones would have faced a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.

Ogden, also an Ellsworth native, was laid to rest Dec. 13, 2016, in the town of El Paso.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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