Jacob Larson is maintaining a not guilty plea and has asked for a jury trial.
Larson, 34, of Kensington, is one of two men accused and charged in the beating of Steven “Beaver” Hlinsky outside the Muddy Boot bar in Forada in May 2018. Hlinsky died eight days later.
In Douglas County District Court on Tuesday, Aug. 27, Larson’s attorney, Todd Peterson of Sauk Rapids, asked Judge Timothy Churchwell to set a date for the jury trial and indicated that Larson was not demanding a speedy trial.
The judge asked Peterson how long he expected the trial to take, to which Peterson replied that because of the number of witnesses and all of the medical testimony, it would take longer than five days.
Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson was asked the same question and he said it would be prudent to plan for a 10-day trial.
Churchwell said his calendar was full for September and October, and that the trial would more than likely take place in either November or December.
The judge also said the conditions of Larson’s release from when he previously posted bail would stay in effect until the trial.
The other man charged in the Hlinsky case, Troy Traut, 34, of Pine River and formerly of Alexandria, pleaded guilty June 6 to a misdemeanor fifth-degree assault charge – one of six charges he was facing. As part of Traut’s deal, he agreed to testify against Larson.
Larson is facing the following charges: second-degree murder; aiding and abetting second-degree murder; first-degree manslaughter; and aiding and abetting first-degree manslaughter. All are felony-level charges.
He is also charged with two misdemeanors, fifth-degree assault and aiding and abetting fifth-degree assault.
According to the complaint
In the criminal complaint, it states:
Traut, Jacob Larson and two other men were sitting together at a table at the Muddy Boot on May 5, 2018. Surveillance video showed Traut appearing to approach Hlinsky several times in an “aggressive or agitated” manner. The video shows Traut grabbing a beer bottle in front of Hlinsky and throwing it against the wall.
The video then shows Larson walking over to Hlinsky, lighting what appears to be a marijuana pipe and blowing the smoke toward him. Hlinsky appears to be directing Larson to the door, stopping to talk to the bartender, then continuing to the door with Larson.
Hlinsky did not appear to be planning to leave the bar, but Traut grabbed him by the arm and pulled him outside. Larson is also seen in the video putting Hlinsky in a headlock and helping to pull him outside, where they vanished from the bartender’s view and from the surveillance video.