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Former west-central Minnesota police chief pleads guilty to reckless firearm discharge

Christopher Allen Lee, 53, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of reckless discharge of a firearm involving a domestic incident. He was relieved of duties as chief for the Upper Sioux Police Department following his arrest.

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GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — A former Minnesota police chief has pleaded guilty to a felony count of reckless discharge of a dangerous weapon involving a domestic incident last April.

Christopher LEE.jpg
Christopher Lee

Christopher Allen Lee, 53, entered a guilty plea Aug. 17 in Yellow Medicine County District Court to a felony count of dangerous weapon discharge — municipality. As part of a plea agreement, a felony charge of second-degree assault, a felony charge of reckless discharge of a weapon and a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault will be dismissed.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5. The plea agreement calls for a sentence of two years probation and no further jail time executed. The offense will be a misdemeanor upon successful completion of probation.

He is subject to revocation of his peace officer license for the felony conviction.

Lee was serving as chief of police for the Upper Sioux Community but was relieved of his duties following his arrest on April 15.

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According to the criminal complaint, a man who was Lee’s roommate in a house in Clarkfield was in a bedroom. He had locked the bedroom door and Lee was upset about it.

Clarkfield, Minnesota, locator map
Clarkfield, Minnesota, locator map
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The roommate said he pushed against the door to prevent Lee's entry “when all of a sudden, he heard a loud BOOM, and part of the door went flying off.”

Lee had allegedly fired through the door, according to the roommate. The victim told a Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s officer responding to the scene that Lee had also kicked through the door and they exchanged words.

The roommate said he then ran to the basement, where he hid. He had white residue over his clothing but was not injured.

The officer found a spent casing from a .40-caliber bullet outside the damaged door.

Lee’s service weapon, a Glock .40-caliber, was found on his dresser in his bedroom. It showed signs of having been fired and there were 14 bullets in its magazine, which holds 15 bullets, according to the complaint.

A Yellow Medicine County sheriff’s deputy responding to the scene found Lee in a camper outside of the residence and took him into custody. The deputy reported that the suspect said he was sorry. Lee appeared highly intoxicated and smelled of alcohol, according to the complaint.

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoors reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He has been a reporter with the West Central Tribune since 1993.

Cherveny can be reached via email at tcherveny@wctrib.com or by phone at 320-214-4335.
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