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Murder trial may be pushed back

A Hawley, Minn., woman's murder trial, originally set for Feb. 17, may start much later. Clay County District Court Judge John Pearson said Friday the trial of Patricia K. Larson, 37, could be pushed back to May 4 or as late as June 8. Pearson sa...

A Hawley, Minn., woman's murder trial, originally set for Feb. 17, may start much later.

Clay County District Court Judge John Pearson said Friday the trial of Patricia K. Larson, 37, could be pushed back to May 4 or as late as June 8.

Pearson said he was allowing the change to give defense attorney Stephen Light additional time to have an independent expert analyze a

12-gauge shotgun prosecutors say was used in the fatal shooting of Larson's live-in boyfriend, Greg Bates, at Larson's home Sept. 21.

Larson is charged with second-degree murder.

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Before Pearson issued a gag order in the case, Light said Larson shot Bates in self-defense.

Court records say Bates, 38, beat Larson and tried to smother her with a pillow the morning he died. She escaped his grip in a bedroom, grabbed a shotgun and pulled the trigger as he faced away from her.

Larson is being held in the Clay County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond or $50,000 cash.

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