ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A 17-year-old Sauk Rapids boy was charged with murder Tuesday in the death of a college student who was punched once in the face in a St. Cloud alley.
The youth was in shackles when he appeared before Stearns County District Judge Frank Kundrat on one count each of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault in the attack on Colton Gleason, 20, of Greenfield. The judge ordered him held pending an Oct. 2 hearing.
Prosecutors are seeking to try him as an adult. That hearing is set for Oct. 20.
Through his attorney, the 17-year-old said he had nothing to do with the attack on Gleason and doesn’t know who was involved, the St. Cloud Times reported.
But the complaint alleges the youth was a passenger in a car that was driving down the alley late Thursday night when it came upon the Minnesota State University, Mankato student walking two female friends home. The complaint alleges the youth told the driver to stop, got out and punched Gleason in the face one time, causing him to fall backward and hit his head. He then got back into the car and indicated to the people inside that he had punched Gleason, the complaint says.
Gleason regained consciousness at St. Cloud Hospital but died there Friday.
Assistant Stearns County Attorney Dana Erickson told the judge that the 17-year-old committed an unprovoked assault and that police have credible information that witnesses have been receiving threats. She also told Kundrat a separate assault case is pending against the suspect.
Gleason’s family said he was visiting friends in St. Cloud. He graduated from Orono High School in 2010.