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Minnesota man dies after being punched at lake resort

MILLE LACS LAKE, Minn. -- One punch during an encounter at Nitti's Hunter's Point Resort near Mille Lacs Lake on Saturday reportedly resulted in the death of one man and the jailing of another.

David Taute, 46, Prior Lake, was found unresponsive Saturday and later died at a Twin Cities hospital. David Stay, 44, Brooklyn Center, was arrested at Nitti's and subsequently charged with first-degree manslaughter and assault.

According to the criminal complaint from the Mille Lacs County Attorney's office, Mille Lacs County deputies were dispatched at 1:06 a.m. to a report of an assault at the resort. When they got there, they found Taute being loaded into an ambulance with a crowd of 15-20 people gathered around. "A couple of heavily intoxicated males" told the deputies Taute had been talking with Stay when Stay punched him, knocking him out, the complaint said. Bystanders on scene said Taute hadn't woken up since the punch.

Deputies found Stay walking up a nearby road, and he admitted to knocking out Taute, the complaint said. Stay was unsure what his confrontation with Taute had been about, but said he had been pushed and punched Taute on the left side of his face, then became scared and ran away. A deputy smelled alcohol on Stay, but he did not appear to be obviously intoxicated.

Based on surveillance video, Taute "did not provoke, push, touch or attempt to physically touch Stay in any way" before Stay punched him, the complaint said.

Stay was arrested and taken to jail.

Taute was transported to a hospital in Onamia and then airlifted to North Memorial in Robbinsdale, where he died later that morning, a press release said.

Determining the motive for the punch is part of the ongoing investigation, Sheriff Brent Lindgren said Monday.

"Certainly we're still trying to ascertain exactly what led up to (the confrontation)," he said. "There's obviously some unanswered questions yet."

The Mille Lacs County Attorney charged Stay with one count of felony first-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine, one count of felony first-degree assault (great bodily harm), 20 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine, one count of felony second-degree manslaughter (culpable negligence), 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine, and one count of felony third-degree assault (substantial bodily harm), five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

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