On a plea agreement, Hagen pleaded guilty to lesser charges of second-degree murder while committing a felony and first-degree assault. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Allen Bloomquist at his Hawick home.
If Judge Donald Spilseth approves the sentence recommended by Joseph Friedberg, Minneapolis, (Hagenís attorney) and Boyd Beccue, Kandiyohi County Attorney, Hagen will serve between 15 and 23 years in prison.
Beccue said the main reason he struck a deal with Hagen was to avoid forcing Bloomquistís two young children to testify. The two children witnessed the murder of their father and shooting of their mother, JoLynn Bloomquist, at their home in Hawick on Aug. 31, 1997.
A second reason for moving forward with the plea agreement was new evidence, Beccue said. The evidence would have given Judge Spilseth justification to allow the jury to consider a manslaughter conviction.
Beccue said new facts dveloped in the last couple of months made the manslaughter claims justified.
Before accepting the guilty pleas, Judge Spilseth told Hagen he would have to take the stand under oath and disclose certain facts about the incident. Hagen responded with quick ďyesĒ answers to Friedbergís questions describing events that led up to the shooting.
A grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Hagen on Sept. 18. The indictment charged Hagen with first-degree murder, attempted first degree murder, second-degree muder, second-degree murder while comitting another felony, second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault.
Spilseth ordered a presentence investigation and asked the court administratior to schedule a sentencing hearing in early June.
If Spilseth decides to order a harsher sentence, Hagen has the option of withdrawing his guilty plea and going to trial.
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