Defendant in Forada beating death violates release conditions

He was released from jail Wednesday.

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Troy Traut

For the second time in less than a year, Troy Traut has violated his release conditions, was arrested and was booked into the Douglas County Jail.

Troy Traut, 35, of Pine River, formerly of Alexandria, is one of two men who faced charges after the beating and eventual death of Steven Hlinsky, 46, of Forada, in May 2018.

His case has not been settled yet and his next court appearance is set for Monday, Oct. 5, in Little Falls at the Morrison County Courthouse.

According to court records, a warrant was issued for his arrest on Wednesday, Sept. 16, after he was reportedly consuming alcohol in an Alexandria restaurant.

He reportedly turned himself in, was placed under arrest and taken into custody. He was booked into the Douglas County Jail on Monday, Sept. 21, and according to the Douglas County Jail Roster, was charged with contempt of court (constructive, other unlawful interference with court process or proceedings.)


He was released Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 23, after posting bail.

According to his release conditions, Traut can be in a restaurant, but he cannot consume alcohol. Additionally, he cannot enter a bar or liquor store and he cannot be in possession of alcohol or drugs, among several other conditions.

Earlier this year, Traut violated his release conditions when he spoke to a member of Hlinsky’s family outside the courtroom, which his release agreement does not allow. According to the conditions, he is to have no contact with the Hlinsky’s family.

Background on the case

Traut was originally charged with six different charges – second-degree murder, aiding and abetting second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, and aiding and abetting first-degree manslaughter, which are all felony level charges, along with two misdemeanor charges, fifth-degree assault and aiding and abetting fifth-degree assault.

Early on in the case, Traut pleaded guilty to the fifth-degree assault charge as part of a plea agreement where he would testify against the other man charged in the case, Jacob Larson, 35, of Kensington.

His plea deal was rejected for lack of a sufficient factual basis, and after two judges recused themselves and one was dismissed, Traut’s case is now in the hands of Morrison County District Court Judge Antoinette Wetzel.

The settlement conference on Oct. 5 is taking place in the Morrison County Courthouse due the change in judges, not because of a change in venue.

If there is no resolution reached and the case would end up having a jury trial, a Douglas County jury would be used.


About the incident

In the early-morning hours of May 5, Hlinsky was found on the sidewalk outside the Muddy Boot Bar and Grill in Forada, bleeding from the nose and ear. He was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital with life-threatening injuries, released May 11, and died two days later, May 13, 2018.

Both Traut and Jacob Larson, 35, of Kensington, were charged in the case and faced the same six charges. They were each offered a plea deal, with only Traut accepting it. Larson's case went to trial, where he was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and aiding and abetting first-degree manslaughter, both felonies.

On Aug. 3 of this year, Larson was sentenced in Douglas County District Court by Judge Timothy Churchwell to 90 months – 7½ years – in jail. Two-thirds of his sentence will be served in jail, while the rest will be on supervised probation. Larson received credit for time he already served, which was 207 days.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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