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Detroit Lakes man convicted of murder in mobile home shooting

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- A jury convicted a Detroit Lakes man of murder Tuesday in the January shooting death of Travis Buckanaga at a mobile home park.

The jury deliberated about two hours Tuesday afternoon before returning the verdict against Ronald Quiceno, 38, finding him guilty of four of the five counts against him.

He was convicted of second-degree murder with intent with the use of a firearm, second-degree murder without intent with the use of a firearm, assault in the second degree and prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

He was acquitted of second-degree attempted murder. That charge stemmed from the shooting of Barris Guy, who had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the neck.

The shooting took place Jan. 26 at Kountry Manor Mobile Home Park, north of Detroit Lakes on County Road 21. Quiceno was accused of entering a home at the trailer court early that morning and shooting Buckanaga five times and Guy once, following an argument during a gathering at the residence.

Relatives of both Quiceno and Buckanaga, who were seated in the gallery, cried when the verdicts were read.

Guy was also allowed to be in the gallery for the verdict. He is serving time in the Becker County Jail.

Judge Lisa Borgen said Quiceno's bail has been revoked until his sentencing, which will not be held for 30 to 45 days. A presentence investigation is planned.

As Quiceno was led out of the courtroom, he sobbed and said "love you" to his wife, who was seated a few feet behind him in the gallery. His sobs could be heard after he was escorted into the hallway and conference room outside the courtroom.

On Tuesday morning, the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments before handing the case to the jury.

"Guns don't just show up," prosecutor Noah Cashman said of Quiceno testifying earlier that he didn't bring his gun to the scene. "The gun showed up because the defendant brought it."

Cashman said Quiceno's actions that morning were not that of self-defense but rather of someone trying to hide a crime.

Throwing a holster out the window and putting his clothing and boots into a broken washer filled with bleach were ways to "dispose of the evidence. Why? He just murdered somebody," Cashman said.

Defense attorney Joe Parise said the case wasn't about shots being fired or about the death of Buckanaga, because Quiceno admitted to shooting the gun at Buckanaga. He said the case was about self-defense for Quiceno.

Five of the six eyewitnesses in the mobile home that night said Buckanaga was not advancing toward Quiceno. Kasey Burk, who was the only sober one, said Buckanaga was coming toward Quiceno, Parise said.

"People's recollection can be affected by alcohol and drugs," he said. "How reliable and how credible is that information?"

Going to the credibility of the eyewitnesses, he also said three of the six have prior convictions.

"Quiceno's response was spontaneous," Parise said, not thought out. "His conduct was one of survival."

Cashman said the defense wanted to discredit the eyewitnesses for prior convictions and being under the influence that night, but the same things could be said of the defendant.