A St. Croix County judge has stopped a plea hearing for a man accused of shooting at four teens and police officers during an October 2009 stand-off. Judge Scott Needham responded to objections to the plea deal from the parents of three of the teens. Dan Christenson fired more than twenty shots during the six hour incident. His son had brought home three other teens, and something they did set off the 44 year-old Christenson. He fired several shots at closets and furniture where the teens cowered while his son Zach called 911 for help.
Parent Tara Tuchel told a Twin Cities television station that she couldn’t believe prosecutors planned to drop all but two aggravated assault charges against Christenson. “It would take away everything that he did to our kids, and to the police,” Tuchel told KSTP. “He shot at police, and to not be held accountable for that, it’s wrong.” Christenson was shot by police and spent several months recovering in a Twin Cities hospital. Then, at an April motions hearing, Zach Christenson refused to testify against his father. Prosecutors feared that would raise doubt in the minds of jurors about Dan Christenson’s claim he didn’t know his son and his friends were in the house. Parent Jeff Goslin says he doesn’t understand it. “Not just a parent but as a citizen of the community. I’d be outraged if it was anybody else,” said Goslin. “It makes no sense to me.”
Prosecutor Frank Collins said he’ll talk with Christenson’s lawyer. “We need some more time to ascertain whether this case is going to be resolved by plea negotiation or whether we’re on a trial schedule,” he said. Dan Christenson remains free on bail.
Jeff Petersen, WIXK